Lately I’ve been thinking about being busy versus being idle. I hate being idle. I’m constantly doing something, even if it’s as mundane as taking out the trash or vacuuming. I get antsy sitting in front of the TV (unless the show is really compelling). I have to actually be doing something.
Even though I like to be busy, I don’t like to multitask. When I was in school, I could never listen to music and write a paper at the same time. I can’t talk on the phone and do anything else at the same time. I read somewhere (I forget where) that it’s been scientifically proven that people cannot multitask successfully, no matter how well they think they can do it. The quality of work on all the tasks goes down.
When I’m “busy,” I’m not multitasking. I’m doing one thing at a time because that’s the only way I’ve ever done things well. It’s like, I’m going to write a paper. After that I might watch some TV. Or IM some friends. Not all of those things at once. It doesn’t feel right to me when I’m doing two things and not giving my full attention to either.
Society doesn’t like idleness, but sometimes all we need is a little bit of idle time in order to recharge. I may not like to be idle, but sometimes it’s necessary to just sit and not do anything for a while. Sometimes we need to sit in front of the TV and let our minds slide away from reality. Sometimes we need to just sit down with our headphones in, listen to music, and not do much else.
I think we need to train ourselves to slow down and be idle sometimes.