The other week I was in Birmingham and found myself with a couple of hours between meetings. Normally I go to Starbucks, log on, tune in and work through. Not that day. Instead I went to the Birmingham Museum and Art gallery (I’m not kidding, we do have one with posh pictures and everything) and spent a very pleasant couple of hours looking at the museum’s impressive collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings.
Did the world stop? No. Am I any further back in my plans? Au contraire. Did I thoroughly enjoy myself, lift my spirits and create a very pleasant memory? Yes, a thousand times yes.
Sometimes life can be just one long guilt trip don’t you think? If it isn’t work it’s the kids, the husband/wife/partner, the parents, the house or any number of other draws on our limited reserve of time. Quite rightly we do our duty and slog on like the little heroes we are. Slog on – I think that’s a grim old term. It makes me think of coal mines and 19th century factories uuuggghhh. There must be more to life than “getting things done” all the time.
So what has that to do with a me mooching around an art gallery? Well I was indulging (that is exactly the right word) myself in some Oasis Time. A little welcome relief in a desert of duty.
Oasis Time is time for you. It has to be accompanied by a small voice at the back of your head saying “we don’t have the time/money for this”, “we need to get things done” or some such gibberish. It’s the same voice your mom used when you mooted the idea of hitch-hiking around South East Asia on your own. Well intentioned but to be soundly ignored.
Oasis Time is indulgent. It’s all about you and making you feel good. It’s something that justifies all the hard work, all the sacrifice and makes you feel alive and in most cases it’s free.
Playing golf in the week, going for a walk in the park at lunchtime, reading the paper instead of doing the ironing, spending half an hour browsing through Waterstone’s history section and so on. All Oasis Time. All for you.
I’m not saying you should shirk your duties or that you should let the side down – far from it. I find that after some Oasis Time (referred to at Flair Towers as Mikey Time) I am more creative, have more energy and get more done. That’s right folks, taking time out for yourself is actually good for the firm and for your loved ones.
So when can you land-grab some Oasis Time of your own and what would it be, I wonder? As the saying goes “very few people say on their death beds that they wish they had spent more time at the office” or as my friend Wendy Merricks puts it – if you want it, have it.
I couldn’t agree more.