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“Why do we give up our sacred space so easily? Because space is scary. During these temporary voids of distraction, our minds return to the uncertainty and fears that plague all of us. To escape this chasm of self-doubt and unanswered questions, you tune into all of the activity and data for reassurance…. Our insatiable need to tune into information – at the expense of savoring our downtime – is a form of “work” (something I call “insecurity work”) that we do to reassure ourselves.” – Scott Belsky, CEO of Behance from “What Happened to Downtime? The Extinction of Deep Thinking & Sacred Space” [The 99 Percent]

The Lifehacker contributor asked, “Do you think we’ve traded our downtime for affirmation? How do you enforce downtime in a distraction-heavy world?” – Adam Dachis, “Is Downtime Extinct?” [Lifehacker]

Here are a few of my thoughts:

I think downtime has lost its value in our culture. Productivity and efficiency are the idols of the day, and many people feel guilty spending time doing absolutely nothing. Working through lunch, logging in to work from home, being accessible at all times through phones & internet, all of it contributes to a feeling of always being “on the clock,” making true downtime feel like a waste.

I’ve enjoyed my new hobby of crocheting, simply because it forces me to put down the laptop and the cell phone, and enables me to just sit and be still & quiet, without being plugged in to anything. Yes, it can be uncomfortable to do it without music, audiobooks or TV in the background. Worries, niggling aches, my to-do list all crowd for my attention. But I think learning to deal with that is probably a healthy thing to pursue. Dealing with my crazy brain during downtime helps it not bother me as much when I’m ready for sleeptime.

Not to say that I don’t still spend a lot of time with the TV or music running just to occupy my thoughts. But I’m working on it. I’m hoping, as I work on being OK with quiet, that maybe my prayer life will improve. That whole “Be still and know” thing has always been quite a challenge to me.

BTW, I loved the illustration Lifehacker used for the article:

Photo by Alejandra Gamgeek from Gallifrey

Photo by Alejandra Gamgeek from Gallifrey

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