Unstructured Time (a.k.a. The Art of Doing Absolutely Nothing)


When was the last time you didn't plan your day? When you didn't wake up thinking 'OK, first I'm going to do this, then I'm going to do that and then I have to remember to do the other thing by this time otherwise...'With all that doing, there's very little time for us to actually just be.Even on our 'days off' we are busy little bees. We plan to go to this museum, meet up with those people and sit in our seats every Friday afternoon thinking, 'Yes, tomorrow I will watch a whole morning of Youtube, and it will be glorious.'Nice try, but that's still planning.No, unstructured time isn't that easy. It requires setting aside a certain amount of time with no plans whatsoever. 'Er, what's the point of that?' You ask.It gives us a chance to work out what we really like doing. Unstructured time is a period with no plans, no task lists, no 'should dos', nothing. It's like it says on the tin: unstructured.When we get past all the obligations, pressures and 'must use every spare second to further my lif in some way' mentality, we can just be. In that state, what comes to mind? What do you want to do?Daydream?Nap?Read?Paint?Sing?Put on your red shoes and dance the blues?Whatever it is, it doesn't matter. Because at that moment it's what you want to do.And at first, it might be bloody difficult. Most of us have stuff 'scheduled' for us throughout our childhoods. We get used to going from school, to football, to music lessons, to extra-curricular drama. Somehow we find time to sleep, eat and chat on instant-messaging-program-of-choice.We get used to being 'active', 'busy', 'productive' and 'multi-talented'. The more things we spend time on and are good at, the more we are praised.We might achieve a lot, but we lost the ability to sit and think 'What do I really want to do right now?'The good news is, it's never too late to get that back.OK, I admit it... I haven't mastered the art of experiencing unstructured time yet. Any tips/suggestions/experiences would be much appreciated! Photo Credit: Glenn Waters ぐれんin Japan. via Compfight cc