Last week I decided to write a posting on the subject of doing nothing, but succeeded in living my subject so well that the posting didn’t appear at all!
As a time management “expert” I find that a large proportion of people who come to me for advice want to know how to DO more things or DO them better or DO them more efficiently. While to me it’s often totally obvious that what they really need to learn is how to do LESS things or, even better, how to do NOTHING. They are so busy cramming more and more things into their lives that the very idea of doing nothing would never enter their heads.
So let’s look at some of the advantages of doing nothing:
- It’s cheap — it doesn’t cost anything at all to do nothing.
- In fact it’s better than cheap. You will be much more productive if you build some time for doing nothing into your life.
- Doing nothing is an excellent way of re-connecting with yourself.
- Doing nothing with someone you love is great.
- Doing nothing means you let things happen at their own pace rather than force them.
- Deliberately doing nothing is often the best choice when you are uncertain how to proceed.
- Deliberately doing nothing allows you to get to what I call the “point of power” — that moment when the time is right and you just gotta do it — the point where your action just seems to happen by itself.
- Doing nothing allows you to experience BEING.
In the next few days, try building some time for doing nothing into your life. A whole day spent deliberately doing nothing can be a wonderfully re-charging experience. But even ten minutes here and there can make a real difference.
Of course the only time you can really literally do nothing at all is when you are dead. You will always be doing something, even if it is only breathing. But the important thing about doing nothing in the sense in which I am using the expression is that you are not trying to achieve anything. The best activities for doing nothing are things like going for a stroll in the open air, chatting with a friend or loved one, reading a novel, doing a bit of gardening, meditating, looking at a beautiful view, that sort of thing. Above all they should be things that you are engaging in for their own sake, not because they lead somewhere else.