Spending time alone is not just for introverts. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, work from home or at an office, or have a family or not, we all benefit from having some time to ourselves.
Why is alone time such a big deal?
Having some alone time is incredibly valuable for you, your well-being, and your development as a person. It’s valuable for your work in the world. Your alone time is even valuable to your loved ones.
Here are 9 reasons why alone time is really good for you:
- You are more productive.
Look at the most productive people around, and you will see that they regularly spend time doing everything but working. They take time off. They pause during the day to rejuvenate. That’s because alone time actually increases your productivity. When you are surrounded by people, it is easy to get distracted. When you are alone, you can focus more effectively and concentrate fully.
- You have more clarity.
Filtering out all the things that come your way during the average day can be tiring. It takes energy. When you are alone, you can more readily decide what you want to have coming into your awareness. You can hear yourself think and sort through conflicting information. That level of clarity is hard for most people to get when they are in the presence of others. Finding some alone time is a quick solution to information overwhelm. You can then notice what is most important to you.
- You can do what you want to do.
If you work with people all day, or you have a family, doing your own thing is not easy. Sometimes, you even lose sight of what it is that you want to do. Taking some alone time helps you tune in and listen to what is in you, where your wants and desires are leading you. You can even take action on it.
- You become a better problem-solver.
We can get stuck in thinking about a problem in a certain way, and cannot see the way out. When you step away and spend some time alone, you break your pattern of thinking. Your perception and perspective shift, which often lead you to think about the problem in a new way. A solution may pop up, or you start on a new way of thinking that leads to a solution.
- You are more creative.
When it comes to fresh perspectives, alone time is crucial. When we are alone, we can more readily enter into meta-cognition, the process of thinking critically and reflectively about our own thoughts. Being alone means you stop absorbing other people’s ideas for a time. We often don’t realize how much other people influence us and our opinions. As you step away from others, it gives you a chance to give your own distinctive ideas more credence and weight.
- You have more energy.
When you are alone, you can truly relax and rest. You are not being pulled in multiple directions by what is going on around you. That resting time means rejuvenation, recharging your energy.
- You become more self-reliant.
When you spend a lot of time with other people, it’s easy to start acting by consensus. When you know other people’s preferences, it’s hard not to be influenced by them. When you spend time alone, you cannot slip into seeking approval. And it keeps you away from the comparison game. You only have yourself to measure your behavior against.
- You value the people close to you more.
Absence really can make the heart grow fonder, as you miss your loved ones’ company. You enjoy the time together more. Plus, time spent on your own increases your empathy, studies have shown. You can put that to great use in the relationships that matter to you most.
- You benefit from self-reflection.
You can choose to spend your time alone reflecting on what you value. What you value influences everything you do, whether you’re conscious about them or not. If you become conscious about your values, you can then choose to act on them in a positive way, a way that really reflects what’s most important to you. Self-reflection also lets you make meaning out of your experiences. Meaning making is important to your development and learning as a person.