Most of us are constantly on a quest to increase our productivity. We have busy schedules and never-ending to-do lists. Phrases like “time is money” float around us and wasting time seems like the greatest sin to commit. If you’ve taken a look around this site or checked out our Instagram page, you’ve noticed that we are constantly on the go, always doing something, and figuring out how to get the most out of life. Well this article is all about doing nothing.
Why is doing nothing good for you?
1. Generates new ideas
2. Relaxes and reenergizes you
3. Teaches you how to be mindful
Yes, I know this concept may be foreign to you, it often is to us! We sometimes have to force ourselves to just S L O W down a bit. If you need some inspiration how to do nothing, here are some examples:
1. Relax in bed, all morning long. Allow yourself to just chill in there and stretch out your body against your comfy bed. Do not entertain any thoughts of what you have to do that day. Think only about things that make you happy, daydream, or just focus on how good it feels to hang out in bed and allow yourself to drift in and out of sleep.
2. Relax outside. Just sit and observe the scenery around you. Do not bring a book, don’t check your phone, don’t bring anything to do. Just soak in your surroundings. If possible spend at the least half the time without even music. Pay attention to the colors around you, how the grass feels between your toes, all the small details you normally overlook.
3. Whatever activity you love, do it for the pure sake of enjoying it. For example, if you love to dance turn on some music and move however feels good to you without thinking about burning calories, just how much you love it and how good it feels. If you like to paint, spend some time painting without worrying about the end result. Get lost in the activity.
4. Eat mindfully. Focus on the sensations and taste of what you’re eating, this will help you tune into the more subtle tastes that you normally overlook. Focus on how you feel and how slowly you are becoming full. The more times you practice eating like this, the easier it will be to be mindful about eating when you are not able to slow down and pay attention to what you are doing.
So how often should you do nothing?
1. Small bits of nothing throughout the day
Try to do nothing for a small period of time throughout the day. You might think you do not have time for this and it will disrupt your day. However, finding just a few minutes to relax, clear your mind, and do nothing will help recharge you and power you through the rest of the day. It really only takes 2-5 minutes. Try interspersing these some point in the morning, early afternoon, late afternoon, evening, and right before you go to bed.
2. Larger periods of nothing to rejuvenate after finishing a grueling project
After you accomplish a goal or finish a particularly grueling project that took a lot out of you, give yourself at least a day of absolutely nothing to look forward to. This will reward your hard work (ensuring that you will work hard again) and restore your energy. One of Lena’s grad school professors used to tell his students that after every semester they should spend a few days watching mindless TV or reading trashy novels to give their brains a rest and get ready for another intense semester.
3. Regularly scheduled nothing to look forward to every week
If you are working hard all week, you need to have some “nothing” time to look forward to. When making your schedule for the week, include a long period of “nothingness”. This can be an afternoon spent lounging in the park or a morning to sleep in, whatever will be the most exciting for you. Even if you did not accomplish all your goals for the week, think about what you did accomplish, and tell yourself this is a reward for all the hard work you always put in.
What’s your favorite way to do “nothing”? Tell us in the comments down below!