The Benefits of Doing Nothing

In 1370 AD, the first public clock tower was erected in Cologne, Germany, and from that day forward, the clock has been running our lives.

I am still determining where I fall on the time-consciousness spectrum, but I do know that we had a snowstorm last week. And while shoveling, I counted the songs on my Spotify country music playlist to determine how long it took. 

And I know that when I read stats like these, they make me crazy:

  • According to Arwen Curry, before Edison invented the light bulb, the average person slept eleven hours a night. 
  • A Senate subcommittee in 1967 was told that by 1985, the average American would work only twenty-two hours a week for twenty-seven weeks a year. (Technology and Social Trends, Kerby Anderson)
  • By 2007, the average American worked nearly four more weeks per year than in 1979. (“Vast Majority of Wage Earners are Working Harder,” Lawrence Mishel)

 

I don’t have a complete solution to our overly time-conscious lives, but scheduling a day to DO NOTHING productive is a great starting point.

Yes, you read that right. Schedule a day to DO NOTHING productive. No work. No grocery shopping. No checking “have-to’s” off your list.  

Many societies throughout history have baked this practice into a weekly rhythm called the Sabbath. 

Many of you remember a time when stores were closed on Sundays. 

So as we close out 2022, let’s spend one of the year’s final days DOING NOTHING. 

After all, DOING NOTHING has several benefits: 

  1. Relaxation: Doing nothing allows you to recharge your batteries. 
  2. Creativity: Doing nothing allows your mind to wander and can lead to increased problem-solving skills.
  3. Increased productivity: Doing nothing can increase your productivity in the long run. It allows you to return to tasks with renewed energy and focus.
  4. Improved decision-making: Doing nothing allows you to reflect on your choices and consider different options.
  5. Improved relationships: Doing nothing can also allow you to connect with others and strengthen your connections, which research shows is THE key to long-term success.  

 

One final thought to effectively DO NOTHING IN 2022, put your phone out of reach.

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Brian Rutherford

Brian Rutherford is Director of Content and Product Strategy for Leadercast. Brian has been telling stories professionally for twenty-five years. Stories that inspire people to see themselves and the world differently. Stories that challenge people to take meaningful action in the world.

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