Worried about being too busy? Why not learn how to do nothing? Here are six reasons that doing nothing is good for you.
DOING NOTHING IS GOOD FOR YOU
Busyness is addictive. Gone are the days when someone asks us how we are and we say a simple, “I’m fine!”.
Today’s default reply is more like, “I’m SO busy’.
In today’s always-on, super connected, 24/7 world, where the boundaries between work and life are being eroded, we define ourselves by levels of busyness, with crazy busy being the pinnacle.
We are praised for how much we pack into our busy lives and our hectic schedules. It is a badge of honour to go the extra mile, to take on all the tasks, to shoulder the burden.
But come on now, it’s time to give yourself and your brain a break, before the wheels come off and busyness leads to unwellness.
The simple fact is that our brains, much like computers, need downtime. If we don’t switch them off on a regular basis they start to malfunction.
And so it is that we find ourselves at a time when we have to remind ourselves how to just do nothing.
Doing nothing means avoiding the temptation to just check your emails or just scroll through a social media feed. Doing nothing means saying no to meeting up with a friend when you just don’t have the energy.
Doing nothing means not squeezing in one more thing before you leave the house or turn out the light at bedtime. Doing nothing means allowing yourself time to just be.
So how do we go about finding our way back to having time to just do nothing?
Well, how about starting with looking at the benefits of doing nothing? Then you’ll be ready to start applying some of the ideas in my post on How To Be Less Busy. Here are some benefits to give you food for thought:
6 ways DOING NOTHING IS GOOD FOR YOU
1. DOING NOTHING IMPROVES YOUR HEALTH
Working all the hours is bad for your health, whether that’s working all the hours earning money or working all the hours doing everything. There are many studies that show that working more than 55 hours per week increase the risk of having a stroke or heart problems.
Do yourself a favour and mindfully define the hours you spend working and the hours you spend without the commitment to do anything.
2. DOING NOTHING CAN BOOST YOUR CREATIVITY
Go figure! Of course, your mind will run wild and free when it isn’t focused on anything in particular. It’s why you’ll have your best ideas just after your head hits the pillow. It’s why you are able to reconfigure your whole life from the comfort of a sun lounger.
By doing nothing you give your brain the chance to switch from focused thought to unconscious thought.
3. DOING NOTHING IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL
In the same way that it’s good to let kids be bored rather than overstuffing their lives with scheduled activities, it’s also good to give ourselves time to ‘be bored’ or rather, time to just be.
I can’t think of anything more soul-satisfying than curling up with a good book on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
4. DOING NOTHING CAN LEAD TO BEING MORE PRODUCTIVE
Yes, that’s right. Taking your foot off the pedal at regular intervals means you’ll have more energy and capacity to focus and get stuff done when you need to. Just like any engine, your brain needs time to refuel.
5. DOING NOTHING IMPROVES YOUR ATTENTION SPAN
Have you noticed how much harder it is these days to commit to watching a whole film, read a book or concentrate on anything for any sustained amount of time? Our always-on, digitally saturated lives have caused us to have the attention spans of gnats.
Give your brain time to rest, give your mind the chance to wander and you will find you regain control of your attention. Your ability to really focus will increase.
6. DOING NOTHING GIVES YOU A CHANCE TO REGAIN PERSPECTIVE
You know that feeling of overwhelm that sweeps over you? The feeling of not being able to cope? You can put a stop to it by taking the time to just do nothing. Taking a step back from the doing in your life gives you the chance to gain a fresh perspective on life, a chance to be mindful of where you are and who you are. It’s by taking time to just be that you start to really understand what makes you tick.
I’m going to end with a quote from the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu:
“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing”.Lao Tzu
Are you ready to just do nothing?! I hope so. Don’t forget to read my post on ways to make space to do nothing by being less busy.