6 May '19
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The Case for Doing Nothing

An article by Olga Mecking fits so well with my increasing allergic reaction to making myself busy all the time that I have to pass on a few edited and rearranged clips:

Perhaps it’s time to stop all this busyness. Being busy…is rarely the status indicator we’ve come to believe it is…There’s a way out…and it’s not more mindfulness, exercise or a healthy diet… What we’re talking about is … doing nothing. Or, as the Dutch call it, niksen…being like a car whose engine is running but isn’t going anywhere…coming to a moment with no plan other than just to be.

…the idea of niksen is to take conscious, considered time and energy to do activities like gazing out of a window or sitting motionless…permission granted to spend the afternoon just hanging out…daydreaming and idleness let the mind search for its own stimulation…counterintuitively, idleness can be a great productivity tool..it takes you out of your mind, and then you see things clearly after a while…it makes us more creative, better at problem-solving, better at coming up with creative ideas……For that to happen, though, total idleness is required.

…don’t get discouraged if you don’t catch on immediately to the benefits of idleness…like beginning a new workout routine: At first, you might get sore, but after a while, you’ll find yourself in this moment of “Oh, this feels fantastic.” Keep your devices out of reach so that they’ll be more difficult to access, and turn your home into a niksen-friendly area. Add a soft couch, a comfy armchair, a few cushions or just a blanket. Orient furniture around a window or fireplace rather than a TV.

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