You Should Spend More Time Doing Nothing

time doing nothing
Author : Daisy Magana
March 12, 2021

You Should Spend More Time Doing Nothing

Yes, you read that accurately. You should spend more time doing nothing. Sounds counterintuitive right? The pandemic forced the world to slow down, and people all of a sudden had more time on their hands. What resulted? Without overgeneralizing, it’s safe to say there were two kinds of responses. The first, an instinctual rush to fill the void with “busyness” because we live in a society that values high-performance. The second was approaching the “extra” time to reflect on how they go about their everyday. Which situation takes more constraint and mindfulness? Immediately jumping into something else in order to occupy time or sitting in an unusual situation?

Your Worth is Not Based on Your Productivity

Western culture equates being busy to being “good” and “successful.” The notion of how “busy” you are determining your worth. This (mis)perception leads many to bite off more than you can chew inherently affecting your stress levels. For some reason, stress has become glorified in our society.

There’s a misconstrued relationship equating stress with success. If you’re stressed out then that’s “good” because you’re busy. If you aren’t doing something then you’re seen as lazy. However, just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re being productive. Let’s get that clear.

Busy doesn’t mean success. Just because you’re moving and feeling busy doesn’t mean you’re making progress. Have you stopped for a moment to define what success means to you, or are you living based on someone else’s perception of what success is? Part of succeeding in anything you take on is being patient, and at times, very patient.

Focus on Being Present Rather Than Busy

Pay attention to what has your attention, it’ll help you get present. Once you’ve identified it then you can appropriately engage with the thought or project. Engaging in a task doesn’t always necessarily mean “doing.” It can simply mean you put focus and attention in the right space to position yourself for success. Your mind is for having ideas not holding them. So rather than trying to store everything in your head do a brain dump and write out everything that has your attention from projects and goals to work and personal life. You’d be surprised at how much we store up there. Releasing your mind from the clutter will help you ease into your day-to-day.

Think About the Time You Have To Do Nothing & Use It Mindfully

Let yourself experience what you’re experiencing. Sit with it—whatever “it” may be—for a prolonged moment. If, all of a sudden, an hour frees up in your day, don’t rush to see what you can do to fill that time up. Time is the greatest gift, so cherish it. Sometimes the best thing for us is to do nothing. Give yourself time and space to learn from your lessons. We are doing too much and if we spent more time doing nothing, perhaps that could help clear the mind and approach life with a fresh perspective.

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