By CareerActually contributor, Julie Preston

Julie Square

It seems everyone is ‘busy’.  We’re busy working long hours at the office, busy searching for a new job, busy rushing from place to place, busy using that gym membership, busy avoiding the gym, busy filling every moment of our lives with things. Just busy.

A recent post by Frank Sonnenberg encourages us to rethink our hyperactive lifestyles. Doing nothing is time well spent is an important reflection on what we might be losing in our constant state of busyness.  Sonnenberg encourages us to take time out, recharge and consider those things that matter most. I particularly liked his thoughts on ‘Dream’ ‘Think’ and ‘Learn’, and believe they have particular relevance to a healthy career and life.

Dream: I confess that I usually eat lunch at my desk.  Sometimes I’ll catch up on news or various blogs I follow, but more often I’ll be working between mouthfuls. Sonnenberg’s article reminds us that a rested, relaxed mind is better able to bring together ideas for that illusive ‘aha!’ moment. More importantly, it’s a missed opportunity to build better relationships with my colleagues, relationships that make work a more enjoyable place to be, and relationships that form part of my wider professional network.

Think: During my years as an academic researcher, I learned that just thinking was a legitimate use of my time… thinking about the intricate detail of the next experiment, or the bigger picture of how that one tiny gene I studied fits into the cascade that prevents pneumonia. Carole has posted previously on the importance of thinking and planning when considering your next career move. Take time out from your busy life to really think about what you want and how to make it happen.

Learn: Lifelong learning is very important to me. In fact, it’s one of the values that has driven the decision-making process as my career has changed and developed. As a scientist, I was constantly learning new techniques and reading new approaches to research. Now I enjoy the challenges of exploring my chosen path as a career practitioner. I’ve enrolled in lots of professional development activities which serve a dual purpose of fulfilling my love of learning as well as gaining skills and knowledge that will be useful in my current and future employment.

This famous quote is a perfect reminder to consider not only where we are going, but what we are doing. Are we too busy racing to appreciate the people, activities and events in our lives right now, missing them in search of the next big goal?

Life is not a race; it is a journey to be savoured every step of the way

How will you pause from the race to truly savour the journey?



Image: Duncan Hill. Source: Flickr