Doing nothing is an impossible assignment for me. It is a foreign concept. Literally. They call it Niksen, Dutch for the art of doing nothing. It is uncomfortable. It feels wasteful and smacks of evil. Yes, evil. Have you not heard “Idle hands are the devil’s playthings”? They attribute the quote to Benjamin Franklin, so it must be correct. Yet, when do we do nothing? Not checking our phones, texting, or binge-watching the full season of the latest “must-see” miniseries while we mindlessly eat dinner. They teach us engaging in busyness is vital, predictive of our success. Inactivity means we are lazy, unproductive, and are not contributing to society.
Is it true? What are we producing when we view a tv show? How productive are we flitting and fluttering from task to text, juggling our over-scheduled lives? What if we took a moment to revel in the rising sun’s beauty, while we sip our morning coffee? Would calm and peace influence and have a positive impact on our entire week? Would we boost our overall daily productivity, increase creativity, become better problem solvers, and improve our mental health?
So, lately, I have tweaked my schedule to allow myself to ease into my day. I have stopped playing video games and swapped it with a program to learn another language. The substitution allows me to relax, while also enhancing my knowledge. With one minor change, I can accomplish two goals in the same time frame. And it gives me more time to do nothing.
Do you grant yourself space for nothing?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer