I’ve realized something about blogging. It takes work to keep updated and have a constant stream of original thoughts. I never want to parrot other people’s content, which is why I always want to comment if I link to another blog. Simply linking to another page isn’t really interesting, opinions and a context create value for a reader.
I was kicking myself for not making a recent post lately, and I realized that it certainly wasn’t a lack of content or ideas. Just the opposite, there is an overwhelming number of ideas, thoughts, and other news items that could be written about. So many things, that I felt that I had no idea where to even start.
That’s when I realized the value of doing nothing.
Somehow, multitasking has become synonymous with productivity. But I wonder if something isn’t lost in our constant quest to be more productive and get more done. We’re wired in with email, cell-phones, iPods, and laptops that go where we go. We are constantly surrounded by our work tools. If we aren’t productive for a certain amount of time, we start to feel guilty. Because, after all, aren’t these things supposed to make work easier and therefore, make our lives easier?
Somehow, the very things that are there to make our lives easier can easily take over and rule our lives instead. A cell phone was great, but then I went and got a cell phone that will receive my email. Great. What’s the trade-off? Are these things truly making our lives better and more productive?
I remembered a statement made by the Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard, “If I were a physician, and if I were allowed to prescribe just one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, I would prescribe silence.”
No wonder it is usually described as “the gift of silence.” I have three small children, and any moment of silence is truly a gift, and it is noticed and appreciated when it happens. But how often do we truly seek silence? Do we allow ourselves to be content with silence?
But when we feel the most overwhelmed, the busiest, the most rushed in our day, I’ve come to realize that is when we need silence the most. How can we organize the thoughts in our head, unless we resist the temptation to add more? Only in silence and quiet reflection can we add any sense to the multitude of ideas and goals we have in our day.
Fortunately for me, I have a large patch of woods nearby that makes a nice quiet walk with nature possible. It’s amazing how much more productive you can be in a day when you actually remove yourself for a few minutes of silence.
If you feel overwhelmed by the business of the day. I challenge you to take a moment and find silence. You may be surprised how hard you have to work for it. But the payoff is invigorating. A few moments of hard-sought freedom from our technological tethers may cause some of those creative ideas to fly unbound.