It was 1am.
I was lying in bed in a pink fluffy dressing gown, writing out a list of everything I had to do that week. I couldn’t sleep, because I was too worried about making sure everything would get done. Those with insomnia will recognise this as The Witching Hour.
And oh, the list was bloody long: I had invoicing to complete, bathrooms to clean, meals to prep, events to attend, articles to write, family to call, and clients to meet. My online diary looked like a game of Tetris. Half hour blocks were stolen in between meetings (“eat lunch”) or after work (“go for a run”). As I stared at the busy week looming large, I realised one thing was noticeably missing: downtime.
The stolen moments of relaxation in which we turn off our phones, close down our laptops, and relax. If you’re me, that means eating Milo straight out of the tin, sitting on the couch and staring out the window. You know, ‘me time’.
But as my nights became more sleepless and my days became more stuffed, I had to realise that downtime needs to be much more than spiking sugar levels and blank gazing at Punt Road traffic.
Relaxing had become just as important as carving out time for exercise, or work, or sleep. It’s about giving your mind and body some time to pause, and rest, and regenerate for the next day of back-to-back meetings and email ambush.
So I set myself a mission: to schedule downtime into my diary. And stick to it. (No Milo allowed.)