We’ve all experienced having great ideas while having a shower or sitting on the toilet. Yet some people feel guilty when they are doing “nothing”.
They think they might be lazy.
But daydreaming is so underrated.
If you can let go of any feelings of guilt or judgement – either from yourself or other people – letting your thoughts play themselves out becomes a curious un-activity.
More specifically, letting your unconscious mind meander.
It’s letting your awareness drift into an almost meditative state – that’s when your brain starts producing alpha waves. In this state of consciousness a person is calm & able to absorb new information, becoming more open & resourceful.
That’s why Thomas Edison, for example – when hired to come up with a solution to a problem or an invention for himself or just following his own curiosity – would sit in a dark, silent room holding a metal rod in his hand.
Eventually, he would start to fall asleep. His hand would start to open and he’d drop the rod. The noise of it hitting the floor would wake him up. He would use that precious moment to remain in an alpha brain-wave state, a more creatively productive state, to help solve the problem of the moment.
Idle time should actually be welcomed – especially for kids.
That’s one reason why child-led homeschooling is so valuable.
At the height of the Covid pandemic, an old school friend shared a Facebook post by her friend:
It’s a tongue-in-cheek post. Little do they know that this homeschooling schedule would actually be a fantastic, fun and productive day for a homeschooled kid. And definitely better than an overly-scheduled home/schooling day.
Apart from the last one “task”, each of them would:
- Draw upon multiple skills
- Require physical application to actually perform useful everyday life-skills; and
- Only take 5-15 minutes – short and sweet.
The child would then have so much free time, or idle time.
Parents (and teachers) usually don’t recognize the intrinsic value in providing children with time to do “nothing”. But idle time is not wasted time. It can actually be the most fruitful.
Nor do many adults realize that kids naturally want to learn and can teach themselves, if given the freedom to be left to their own devices.
So whether it’s for yourself or your child, start to seek out and welcome moments of idle time where you can let your unconscious mind meander to let creativity flower.