Write 4 page essay on the topic How To Be Idle.
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However, there is a deeper insight that Hodgkinson is trying to convey to readers of the book. He is simply telling us that doing nothing can be as good as doing something because it has psychological and physical benefits. First of all, idleness can be a form of relaxation to stop us from completely ruining our physical health. It is not uncommon nowadays to see middle-aged managers suffering from diabetes or heart conditions. More often than not, these busy lot of young leaders resort to unhealthy habits like smoking or over-eating as a coping mechanism to stress. They run like headless chickens when deadlines set in and fire orders like missiles to their subordinates. Later, they succumb to various health conditions because they simply failed to stop and smell the flowers. These people would extract productivity from most of their waking hours by doing work-related tasks even on moments where they could be just resting. In fact, even on a very busy workday, there is time to breathe and daydream. Hodgkinson advocates daydreaming or meditation when caught in circumstances that leaves us no choice but to wait like being stuck in a traffic jam (228). Apparently, traffic jams are blessings because these situations are beyond our control despite all the planning we can make. Normally, when a busy person gets caught in a traffic jam, he starts calling on other people to arrange matters due to delay. Busy people would never consider an idle time. On the other hand, the art of idleness teaches us to pray, meditate or daydream which can be more productive and healthy for our psychological well-being. Prayer and meditation calms the body and lowers blood pressure. A power nap is also good especially on long trips because we can recharge our brain. Daydreaming brings forth our creative thinking that can help us solve some conflicts that we are dealing with. Busy people often miss out the benefits that they can derive from such idle tasks that Hodgkinson suggests. Actually, the author is not telling people to be lazy and counter-productive. He is teaching us to rewire ourselves and explore the advantages of using idle time to make us more productive. Another issue that this book is trying to emphasize is the struggle between quantity and quality. The set-up of our lives depends on parameters that are quantitative in nature. For example, a person who goes to the gym boasts of the number of hours spent on doing exercises rather than the quality of the routine. Instead of feeling good about being able to exercise, fitness buffs would worry about the calories they eat or the hours they spent at the gym. Hodgkinson cited the nap that Winston Churchill took every afternoon which made him very productive later. Likewise, if we want our bodies to grow muscle or lose weight, we need to sleep well. Sleep helps us regenerate and heal from the normal wear and tear of daily living. What more when we are subjected to daily stressful situations? Well, not far behind would be insomnia, depression, and burn-out. The mind and body also breaks down at a certain point. People normally think that more is better when the real maxim of living is quality not quantity. Lives should have more breadth or depth rather than a bunch of jam packed hours that crams tasks or things-to-do.
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