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How to Chill Out

With all of this talk of accomplishing tasks, people like you and me can easily lose sight of one of the great pleasures of life. Freaking relaxing.I can tell you that I am usually finding myself consulting lists and checking inboxes when I should be enjoying the movie I’m watching or the book I’m reading. I get so caught up in the little mini-rush of being organized and productive that I don’t stop to smell the roses nearly as often as I ought to.

One way to curb this nasty habit is to pull the braindead move of putting your lists away. Whatever your data vault of choice happens to be, put it somewhere where it won’t be calling your name.

The second (and, if you ask me, best) way to enjoy your time off is to focus on what you’re doing. This may sound dumb, but you’ve gotten so good at focusing on the task at hand while building a web app or digging a ditch – why can’t you apply that skill to playing catch with your kids or having a nice stiff drink with your spouse?

To put it another way, imagine some professional baseball player who is tossing the ball around with his toddler son in the backyard. He doesn’t put all of his pro arm behind each throw, does he? No, because he’s aware of the context! Knowing which parts of your robotic productive self is a skill in itself.

So, next time your mind wanders off while you’re sipping coffee with your parents or whatever, think these words to yourself (or, hell, say them out loud if it gets the job done):

I’ll never have this moment/time/occasion back. Am I experiencing it and enjoying it as much as I can?

Now, stop reading this blog and go hug your kids, call your parents, suggestively grab your spouse, whatever – remember that life is about those with whom you share it, not the freaking P&L.

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