Celebrate 'Zero-Tasking Day'

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Celebrate “Zero-Tasking Day” October 29 by using the extra hour gained when Daylight Savings Time ends to take a breath, relax and rejuvenate, says self-help author.

On October 29, 2006, Daylight Savings Time ends. We put our clocks back an hour, change the batteries in our smoke alarms and undoubtedly come up with other chores to fill that hour we gained.

But suppose we took a different approach, regarding those precious 60 minutes as a gift -- a time when we can take a breath, relax, re-energize and “de-load” (opposite of overload) ourselves. That’s the premise of “Zero-Tasking Day,” created by Nancy Christie, author of The Gifts of Change (Beyond Words Publishing, 2004).

“The goal of ‘Zero-Tasking Day’ is to create a space in our hectic schedules when we can do absolutely nothing,” says Christie. “For most of us, there are not enough hours in a day or days in a week to do all the things we want or believe we have to do. Stress builds as we push harder and harder to fit in more. The more we do, the more we think we should do. And when we find a few extra minutes, we regard them as time to fill, instead of opportunities to just be. The idea of choosing to do nothing for a set period of time is foreign to many of us -- yet absolutely essential for our mind and body.”

Knowing how difficult it can be to do nothing, Christie has created a “Zero-Tasking Day” worksheet as part of the Community of Change “Workbook for Change” (available at http://www.communityofchange.com/html/workbook.htm).

“It may sound like a contradiction in terms to have a worksheet focusing on doing nothing, but people often don’t realize how healing down-time can be. Or they need ‘permission’ to relax -- some circumstance that creates the space for them. And I speak from personal experience,” laughs Christie.

In The Gifts of Change, Christie detailed how difficult it was for her to sit still and do nothing -- “even in a church, surely the most restful setting one could imagine!”

“What I hadn’t taken into account was that, while I waited for Mass to begin, I had to sit there and do nothing,” she wrote in the chapter entitled ‘In the Moment’. “I couldn’t talk, make a to-do list, write checks or do anything but engage in purely reflective thought -- something I always claimed I didn’t have time to do…Until I finally had it, I didn’t realize how important it was to have a moment of peace to let silence wash away the clamor that prevents us from listening to the voice within.”

Christie’s “Zero-Tasking Day” offers others the chance to experience 60 minutes of restful peace. “Once you have completed the worksheet, I’ll bet you’ll realize how necessary an hour of ‘non-work’ can be,” she says. “My hope is that people will incorporate a ‘Zero-Tasking Day’ into each month.”

Need help making a change? Visit the Community of Change site (http://www.communityofchange.com) for tips and strategies!

For more information about Nancy Christie and The Gifts of Change, visit her web site, http://www.giftsofchange.com, or contact her by phone at 330-793-3675. The Gifts of Change is available online, in bookstores nationwide, and in select military exchanges worldwide, and is also available in both a Turkish edition through Truva Publishing and a Korean edition from Gamoonbee Publishing Co., Ltd.

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