The benefits of doing nothing at all

By johannatime On November 17, 2013 Under Quality of Life and Work

Do you ever do nothing at all? I mean deliberately not spending time or energy or attention on your tasks? And feeling good about it? If so, please comment below about your experiences and tips on how to do that! And if not, this post is for you, so please continue reading, because doing nothing is important for your productivity.

Let me first make myself clear, by doing nothing I do not mean procrastinating on something difficult you have to do, or not knowing what to do or where to start and being paralysed, neither do I mean being bored, or thinking or worrying what to do next.

I’m talking about doing nothing at all, even if it is for only 10 minutes, except maybe a bit of pondering and being mindful of your thoughts.

Is that difficult for you? Then you may be the type of person who

  • Does not wish to waste any time
  • Has a mind that is always busy, or even restless
  • Has no time in their schedule for doing nothing

Whatever your obstacles are, here are some benefits of doing nothing:

  1. By doing nothing, you give yourself a break. You’re probably subject to information and commitment overload like many of us.  Doing nothing recharges your batteries during the day, so the worry will not haunt your dreams
  2. For the busy people: by doing nothing regularly, you can keep going for much longer, because you integrate calm into your day
  3. You’d be surprised what great ideas will come up once you mix a bit of doing nothing into your day: it is a wonderful boost for your creativity
  4. More often than not, doing nothing is eventually more worthwhile than the things you tend to do instead, like watching TV or browsing on Facebook

How to do nothing?

Doing nothing is easier said than done. Especially if you’re the busy rushy restless kind of person I described above. It’s counter intuitive to do nothing when you’re busy! But any worthwhile routine can be integrated into your daily schedule with good preparation, commitment, and practice:

  1. By sweeping your mind regularly and frequently, it’s free from thoughts about things you need to get done. It works like this: sit down with a note pad and a pen and write down everything that has your attention. I’ll soon post another blog about this, so stay tuned!
  2. By knowing exactly what you are not doing, your mind stops thinking about it. Have an up to date list of your commitments and actions, so you can confidently decide to do nothing about them for the next 10 minutes
  3. Make doing nothing a daily routine. Have you ever had your coffee completely cold because you were too busy to drink it? Do nothing while your coffee cools down to start with
  4. A tip I got from another productivity expert: if you find yourself procrastinating on a task, making coffee or cleaning your desk, do nothing. So don’t work on that task, but don’t do anything else instead either. It works!

And please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

Johanna Jansen

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