Taking time out for yourself is probably the last thing on your mind. With work, school, family, and significant decisions about your future, you’re probably thinking, “That’s impossible! There is barely enough time in my day to finish my to-do list and now you want me to squeeze in a few minutes of down time?” It’s careless. It’s…
Here at Lamson, we are all about playing it smart. That is why we offer guidance and advising services to help you through your vocational, academic, and personal journey. That is why we provide student employment opportunities, tutoring services, and student activities, to ensure a well rounded and successful student experience. That is also why we agree with the entrepreneurs and health professionals that say carving out a few moments in your day for “purposeful” down time (PDT) is an investment in your long-term wellbeing, your creative mind, and your compassionate heart.
“Taking time for yourself gives your brain a chance to reboot, improves concentration, increases productivity, helps you discover (or rediscover) your own voice, gives you a chance to think deeply, and helps you problem solve more effectively,” says Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D. and author of High Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout on Psychology Today . “Just start off small,” she encourages, “and see what happens.”
Just to clarify: encouraging down time doesn’t mean promoting being a couch potato. Hence the key word, “Purposeful.” PDT means carving out minutes or half an hour in your schedule to think, reflect, or pursue a hobby or other interest. It’s purposeful time to work on YOU.
Here are three ways that Lamson students can integrate PDT into their busy schedules:
- Turn off your gadgets:
Want to take a quick break to check your Facebook? Go for it! But just like becoming a couch potato, this doesn’t put the “P” in PDT. It’s just a distraction. Instead, disconnect from the distractions and start meditating or reading that book sitting on your bedside table. Just a few minutes a day can start you on a path to clearing the clutter in your mind and preparing you for the next task at hand.
- Allow your mind to drift:
Maybe you do yoga. Maybe you go on a bike ride. Whatever the hobby you wish to pursue, allow your mind to open and think while you do it. Ponder your dreams and how you can reach them, your goals and how they can be pursued. Some of the best inventions were thought up in moments of down time, so take advantage of it!
- Write it down:
Taking note of your ideas during PDT – whatever they may be – makes them tangible. Sometimes it helps to realize the idea is ridiculous! Other times, it will help to work out the possibilities. Either way, writing it down makes the idea real. The next step is verbalizing it. Together, these techniques hold you accountable to actually making it happen.
At Lamson, we are committed to investing in YOU. Start today to invest in YOU, too!
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