Rule 1: Keep Busy

. 1 min read

Happy Monday and welcome to my new article series, 10 Rules for Life! In this series, I share 10 vital life rules that I've found to be fundamental to (my) physical and mental health as well as sense of meaning. We're starting off with the most obvious one:

Keep yourself busy.

One lesson I keep learning over and over again as the years go by is that whenever I have a lot of work on my plate, I am happy; and whenever I'm bored, I'm miserable. And as misery is terrible company, keeping busy is therefore one of the most important things for me when it comes to my mental health.

Keeping busy becomes increasingly tricky if you don't have a job, or if you work for yourself. Good news is that keeping busy doesn't necessarily mean work. It can be anything from investing time in hobbies or educating yourself or dedicating your energy to charity.

What it can not be, however, is consuming entertainment. You can produce entertainment. You can have fun. You can use forms of entertainment as research for your own projects. But I don't recommend you keep yourself busy by consuming entertainment (as an end in itself). This might differ from individual to individual, but for me personally, whenever I watch too many videos or movies during the day, I feel suboptimal in the evening when reflecting back. My best days are always the ones when I had no time to kill with movies or videos - when I was too busy with work, projects, creating something new, et cetera.

If you have a job: great, make sure you work your butt off.

If you're an entrepreneur: great, make sure you work your butt off.

If you don't work: great, fill your schedule with projects and hobbies and other ventures that allow you to contribute.

Whatever your case, keep yourself busy.