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Leisure and Discipline?

You’re disciplined about work and other responsibilities. Right? How much of that discipline sneaks over into evenings and days off, with your thoughts occupied by work and your energy devoted to action on work issues (phone, email, text, etc.)? During your leisure time, after 10-12 hour days and a long week, do you get lost in work . . . again?

How disciplined are you about your leisure time?

On a recent day off, I caught myself feeling antsy and becoming distracted because I was not “doing” something. In truth, I was spending time with my bride, having important, meaningful conversations, and allowing myself to rest. But, it felt like doing nothing. I felt bored and maybe a little guilty. Work kept trying to creep in.

This reminded me of the discipline required to get the full benefits of leisure. Failure of discipline for leisure looks like being distracted, divided in attention, and absent from the moment. Such failure robs you of renewal that is essential to your physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social energy; and, it keeps you from being fully present with your family, friends, and related activities.

Do you tend to avoid boredom and stillness like the plague? Ask yourself why that is? Boredom and stillness are needed, routinely, as part of cycling out of the hurry and craziness of life. Learn to embrace and enjoy it as a healthful experience.

When was the last time that you exercised discipline to be fully present with rest, recovery, and the people around you? Did you get lost in experience of really being “off”? Try discipline for your leisure time. Make it a habit. Funny, it seems a like you have to work on rest and recovery. Well, OK, work on your leisure. As a result, you’ll be more productive when you are on the job, avoid burnout, and you may like it after all.

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