Be it Lincoln or Gandhi, great leaders have always known to have managed their time well and more importantly, keep busy. Whether a working person, a student or a homemaker, there are a lot of duties and tasks we have to do.
In fact, emptiness almost always results from not having something meaningful to do. A lot of work can be stressing but nothing fun or engaging or important to do can be depressing.
Work or something that takes up time gives meaning to our life. Our self-concept comes from what we do for most of the day.
This is why, it is not advised to take up a career you are not interested in. Going against our unique skills and strengths is not a very intelligent way of spending the rest of your life.
In fact, when you get used to your work, such that it does not challenge you anymore and has become routine and repetitive, that’s often when midlife crisis happens too.
Both marriage and work tend to have nothing exciting to offer at that point. That’s coincidentally also when a lot of people start their own companies or start-ups. In the hope of seeking something to fill their time at their age, some make work challenging, some have another child, some grow a hobby.
For those who are not able to do that, there is a sort of vacuum inside. This leads them to feel less meaning in life. They are also unsure of their worth. Almost all of us feel that if we have talents and skills, we should be able to use our time to fulfil those and learn more things. Emptiness brings useless worries to the forefront and leads to high levels of anxiety too.
Even for depressive disorders, the major challenge is to get the patient to start doing tasks again. In depression, there is a high level of conviction that one is useless, or no matter one does, it will not make a difference. As much as we think we want or need a break, we do not do really well when completely free. And this is independent of a source of income. That is, even if we are financially secure, we still feel the need to do something productive with our time.
That is why, some of the highest earning individuals are also the busiest. Otherwise, they have enough money, then why should they bother? For example, Shahrukh Khan starts his day at 5 a.m., in the morning! Of course, they take vacations too and can recuperate and come back to work, a luxury many can afford.
However, you can take small breaks so that you do not burn out and keep feeling energized. But completely being free is not such a great idea. Having something to do is the guiding light in our lives and life would indeed be dark without it.
So what can you do if you have a lot of free time which makes you feel despair?
Find a hobby or a good cause and use your time well. Or, help out someone who is overburdened. The solution is as simple as that :)