The power of unstructured time

Last week I heard someone say ‘I think I just like to be lazy.  I like doing nothing.  I rush to get things done so I can have time to do nothing.’  I laughed when I heard it, and it was a laugh of recognition.  I’m also like this. 

Although, on reflection, it’s not necessarily that I just like doing nothing, it’s that I like have nothing to do…nothing scheduled, no little irritating tasks needing to be done. 

I love to luxuriate in the fertile, creative space of unstructured time. 

I know not everyone is likes this.  I was reminded of a conversation I had with my brother, when he said he gets really irritated if he has a day off work and there is no plan.  He feels like the day just get frittered away.  He likes to have a plan the night before, get up, get out, make the most of the day. 

Now I’m the opposite and actually really enjoy days which have no plans whatsoever.  Waking up in the morning with no demands on my time feels like a luxury.  It doesn’t mean I won’t do anything on those days, sometimes I might do lots of things, but I do them because I want to, not because I have to.  And sometimes I might do nothing at all.

If I wait long enough, if I don’t rush to fill the time with surface activity, there is magic to be found in this unstructured time.  Mooching around in the garden.  Going for a walk or out in my canoe with no particular destination in mind.  Lying on the sofa staring out of the window.  Idling in a café, lost in thought. 

After a while (and sometimes after travelling first through a period of restlessness or boredom) this is the place I find motivation and creativity.  This is where I can dream and have my best ideas.  This is the place I find rest and deep relaxation.  This is where I recharge my batteries, where I draw my energy from.  This is where I come home.

Do you enjoy unstructured time?  How often do you allow yourself that luxury?

5 thoughts on “The power of unstructured time

  1. Yes, I LOVE having no plans, but that’s cos I’m the person who said I love being lazy. I plan so much for work, I’m really structured there, so doing the opposite feels just LUSH.
    And I don’t feel guilty about it either 🙂

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