Specifically, doing nothing. I finished my tasks for the year last week, so I tried to do nothing over the pre-Christmas weekend. I failed catastrophically. Honest to goodness, I did not know that not doing anything is this hard. It is no wonder Bach says that we Singaporeans are addicted to working.
I love doing. I do not let myself idle. The longest I have been between projects is a month. And that included a depressive period of self-reflection; in turn, it led to a clarity of the next product that I was going to build.
Introspection is why I am attempting to build-in a systematic downtime for doing nothing — a systematic period of introspection every day.
It is not easy to do nothing
Doing nothing does not automatically lead to introspection. My brain seeks stimulation constantly. I believe it is a form of addiction. When I had nothing to do, I made it a point to step away from the computer; to not consume any media; to not engage anyone in a conversation. And yet the urge remains. Eventually, I would reach out to my Kindle that is ever so convenient. Or I might pick up my phone, and the news on Google Now will tempt me. Just one article, I would say. It does not ever stop at one.
When I seek it too, my mind does not wander. But as I have my eyes closed just before I sleep, my brain just will not shut up.
What has worked for me
Introspection with my eyes closed works for me. In the period right after I shutdown Kloudsec, I was immobile on the couch a lot. Eyes closed, mind poring through every reason Kloudsec failed.
Walking works too.
I do not think I can keep my eyes closed for a significant period in the office. However, going out for schedule walks should be fine. This might be the goal for 2020. We will see