No, I’m not talking about catching up on Facebook. I’m not talking about looking through your Twitter feed nor am I talking about surfing the Internet when you should be working.
When is the last time that you actually and completely zoned out?
For me, zoning out is like meditating, but without all of the “meditation.”
Every once in a while I like to turn off my distractions, put my hands and eyes to rest and just think.
In our jobs, we are surrounded by nothing but distractions and more things to do. However, at the end of the day, I think many of us ask ourselves “what have we actually accomplished?” This busy work and abundance of “productivity” keeps us from doing what our brains were designed to do: think and reason.
Typical white collar workplaces have workers facing multiple computer screens with their backs to the rest of the world. They are vulnerable to everyone walking by and seeing what they are doing, but most importantly, they are engrossed in being so “productive” that they neglect the opportunity to improve whatever it is that they do or sell.
If you work for yourself or have a job that involves lots of critical thinking, zoning out can still be an important tool for you to ensure that what you’re doing is the best use of your time. Is there a better way of doing something or a more effective process? If you focus on being productive and getting everything done, you will neglect the opportunity to zone out and focus with what’s on your mind.
We all carry a lot of mental baggage. We think about our families, our friendships, our finances and everything in between. If we keep those things in the back of our minds, unprocessed, they seem to build up, creating pressure. This pressure, is most visible in the form of stress. I think that if we all take the time to zone out and process these thoughts, we will all be able to release of the pressure and relieve some of the stress.
When I zone out, I give myself an opportunity to evaluate what I am doing, why I am doing it and how I could do it better. Zoning out gives me the opportunity to tune everyone else out and explore my thoughts and emotions–things that we are told to keep at the wayside when we cross the threshold into the office.
Perhaps it’s Mittyesque, but zoning out gives me the chance to carry out my inner dialog, to figure out how I can do things better and more purposefully and to give myself peace.