Home Forum Unstructured Time

Unstructured Time



When the world’s richest man lays down a few ground rules, ones that seem completely opposite to what you or I may have assumed, we sure sit up and take notice! A common misconception we have of people at the top of the success ladder is that they literally have no time to breathe, and we could not be more wrong. The ones at the top have understood the importance of ‘taking time out’. In fact, they also add credibility to their productivity, with this time out.

In his book, ‘Invent & wander: The collected writings of Jeff Bezos’, he casually mentions a word – Puttering. And the word makes me smile at its sheer implied laziness. Moving around with no real direction, and doing erratic inconsequential things in a relaxed manner all add up to a day in the life of the Man of the World!

While it is important to have some sort of a schedule for days of the week, it is of equal importance to have one day with no set plan. Imagine the fun of being able to wander aimlessly through a day, puttering around here and there. In the same breath, I also will add that this is specifically for a day or a certain time of the day. Of course, you cannot possibly be puttering around your whole life. That would just beat the purpose!

One of life’s greatest decisions is the manner in which you decide to use your time. As much as a routine is important to give stability… Unroutine-ing, in its own way, helps to calm the mind and energise it. They say that mindless activities make for better creativity and decision making and there are studies done by reputed universities to prove the same. Even something as domestic as washing dishes helps. Florida State University states that the smell of soap and the feel of warm water are stimulants for the brain. So, it is little wonder when you read that Bezos takes over the dishes at night!

All of us have a particular way we wake up and greet the day. I, for one, like it real slow and quiet. I am not one for conversation, and neither am I in a rush to do anything. There is something very relaxing about sitting back, sipping a cup of tea, and enjoying the solitude that the early morning hours bring.

There comes a time when you just want, to be. You don’t want to do anything that demands your attention or time. You don’t want to feel pressured or obligated. In the rut of daily motion, very often would you find yourself overwhelmed – for work or home.

I guess Elizabeth Gilbert says it best – “I’ve never seen a transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bulls$#@.” You have to learn to unlearn all that you know and then press restart and let life take over. For sometimes, the best thing you can do is – to do nothing.

(Pooja Poddar Marwah is an award winning author and Blogger. She writes on contemporary living and offers incisive reflections on the world around us. Her blog, Random Conversations is a go to guide to deal with the myriad struggles we face each day.)