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Are you waiting for things to be "done" to relax?

Are you waiting for things to be "done" in order to relax? Good luck with that!


I can remember exactly two moments in the past 10 years when everything was (deep exhale) "done."


In the first one, I was working freelance, I'd just finished a big website project, and all emails had been answered and messages returned. The stars aligned. I didn't have anything I needed to do next!


The second time, I was at home in Harlem, when I realized I'd done the laundry. I'd done the dishes. The house was clean. The refrigerator was full. Wow. It was the "home" version of the work feeling I'd had years before. (Sure, it lasted about 2.5 seconds, but still.)


Yes, those moments felt amazing, but they pointed towards a truth I wasn't really ready to see yet. The tasks and the way I felt about them owned me, because I didn't take the opportunity to own them by planning my time thoughtfully, being honest, and being OK with NOT being so "productive" all the damn time.



The truth is: a point came when I could no longer wait for things to be "done" to rest, relax, recharge, enjoy life, watch the clouds roll by, take a deep breath and putter around aimlessly. Now, I almost have to value the times of not-doing almost as much as the doing. (The not-doing actually fuels the doing, but I don't think about that too much, or it starts to feel like doing!)


Rather than waiting for weird gaps in life where everything is "done" and peace can prevail like I used to, I aim to inject little pockets of peace into every day.


It's the spare five minutes before a conference call, when I can stretch and walk around. It's getting off the subway 2 stops ahead of the destination and walking there to soak up the sights. It's not overscheduling or wearing "busyness" as a badge of honor. It's being honest with myself about how long things really take. It's Sunday afternoon Netflix sessions! (PS: If you think you perennially "don't have time" but you have a Netflix account that's been utilized at all in the last month, trust me: YOU HAVE TIME.)


Even the small moments can feel big to me, when I appreciate them. And part of appreciating them is knowing I'm not getting behind on anything by diving in and enjoying those moments!


So, am I a planner because I love the plans I make? Yes, mostly! But am I a planner because I love (like, love love) the little gaps of time when there are no tasks and to-do's scheduled? Also yes!


Let's be OK with the inbox always being somewhat full. Let's be OK that there always might be something to do. Relax anyway. Relax... right now.


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