You Need to Work Hard at Doing Nothing


by Jake McMillan

I consider myself a lucky fellow as I find it really easy to do nothing. In fact, I like to think I can ‘do nothing’ better than anyone I know! However, I know many people who struggle in this area.

Consider my former flatmate, Lilly, who finds it impossible to be able to do nothing. I have noticed that women, in particular, find it very difficult to think about nothing. The ability to chill, relax and take it easy is an essential part of creating a life balance and being happy.

It’s easy to say but not always easy to do, especially in the modern world of Facebook, Twitter and mobile phones enabling us to fill up our lives with 24/7 social interaction. Despite it being the 21st century and the age of technology, work is stressful with very long hours. How are on earth are we meant to find the time to do nothing?

First step is to recognise that you NEED time to do nothing. The amount varies from individual to individual, but we all need to do nothing to stay sane. Second step is to make sure you keep space in your diary, schedule or calendar for ‘me time’. Whether ‘me time’ is watching a movie, reading a book, going for a walk or simply having a nap, it needs to happen.

More than ever in history our brains our bombarded with information and we simply need some chill out time to allow our brains to relax and to process and filter all that it has been subjected to.

Although I find it natural to make time to do nothing, people like Lilly find it impossible. So much so that she will feel uncomfortable if she is doing nothing, knowing or thinking that there are things she could or should be doing.

Lilly will always struggle in this area, but she does at least recognise she needs to do better at this. When she moved out I got her a little gift of a bear sitting on a hammock, with ‘Working hard at doing nothing’ written underneath to help provide inspiration.

So, get off your backside, sit back down and start doing nothing!



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