Paul L. Caron
Dean


Saturday, May 18, 2019

NY Times: The Case For Doing Nothing

New York Times op-ed:  The Case for Doing Nothing, by Olga Mecking:

Keeping busy?

Running from place to place and laboring over long to-do lists have increasingly become ways to communicate status: I’m so busy because I’m just so important, the thinking goes.

Perhaps it’s time to stop all this busyness. Being busy — if we even are busy — is rarely the status indicator we’ve come to believe it is. Nonetheless, the impact is real, and instances of burnout, anxiety disorders and stress-related diseases are on the rise, not to mention millennial burnout.

There’s a way out of that madness, and it’s not more mindfulness, exercise or a healthy diet (though these things are all still important). What we’re talking about is … doing nothing. Or, as the Dutch call it, niksen. ...

Generally speaking, our culture does not promote sitting still, and that can have wide-reaching consequences for our mental health, well-being, productivity and other areas of our lives. Technology doesn’t make it any easier: The smartphone you carry with you at all hours makes it almost impossible to truly unplug and embrace idleness. And by keeping ourselves busy at all times, we may be losing our ability to sit still because our brains are actually being rewired.

Indeed, the benefits of idleness can be wide-ranging.

Ms. Mann’s research has found that daydreaming — an inevitable effect of idleness — “literally makes us more creative, better at problem-solving, better at coming up with creative ideas.” For that to happen, though, total idleness is required. ...

Counterintuitively, idleness can be a great productivity tool because “if our energy is totally shot, our productivity is not going to be good because we’re not going to have fuel to burn with which to be productive,” said Chris Bailey, a productivity expert and author of the blog A Life of Productivity. ...

But stopping the cycle of business can be challenging in a culture that prizes getting things done. Here are some tips to help you stop and be:

  • Make time for doing nothing, and do it with purpose. ...
  • Resist the culture of busyness. ...
  • Manage your expectations. ...
  • Reorganize your environment. ...
  • Think outside of the box. ...

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2019/05/ny-times-the-case-for-doing-nothing.html

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Comments

The Dude (The Big Lebowski - 1998) didn't need research to know this. Bye, off to go do nothing!

Posted by: leonard fuld | May 19, 2019 6:50:48 PM