The Most Difficult Task Of Doing Nothing

The Most Difficult Task Of Doing Nothing

Have you heard of “Doing Nothing”? I first heard it from my husband. I seriously thought he was joking. How can someone do nothing? Working, playing, reading, sleeping all makes sense. How does one do nothing? It is still beyond me and I’m trying to learn the most difficult task of Doing Nothing.

Ever seen the stand-up comedy of Russel Peters where he explains how men are already masters at Doing Nothing? Though hilarious, I can’t disagree with him about how we women have multiple browsers open in our brains and how we never stop doing/thinking. Not sure if this needs to be quoted, but I find it annoyingly hilarious –

Ah! what a nice day for doing… nothing

Daddy Pig from Peppa Pig (Long time ago, my kids were crazy fans of this show!)

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Do-nothing as “shiftless or lazy person (noun)” or”failing to achieve or do anything important (adj)“. No one wants themselves to be identified as lazy or poor performers. We are taught to work hard, hustle, and try some more. As moms, we are constantly thinking about kids, family, laundry, and a million other things. We constantly keep pushing ourselves to do better and to do more. If we don’t then we get judged (do we really?, In most case, it is our mind that is judging us. Others don’t care)

The most difficult task of Doing Nothing

In her book “Do Nothing”, the author Celeste Headlee mentions how we like to brag about our “busyness”. I’m guilty of doing this. When someone asks me how I was doing, my immediate response would be – busy as always. Oops! I didn’t know I was bragging. Honestly, I was just telling the truth. Aren’t we all busy with work, kids, appointments, and schedules? The book definitely changed my perspective. Before I could quiet my mind and get into the meditative “Doing Nothing” stage, I have to reduce my physical work. Even better, ditch the idea of constantly being busy and productive. “I’m fine” sounds better and more positive than “Busy as always”.

The most difficult task of Doing Nothing.
Photo by STIL on Unsplash

Ms. Headlee, in her book, gives a list of solutions, designed to break our addiction to efficiency without purpose and productivity with production. One item on the list is “Schedule Leisure“. We have heard about having white spaces on our calendar, but this seems more important. Taking breaks for social (not media) connections, rest and relaxation definitely improve productivity. Though annoying, Daddy Pig is right about enjoying the beautiful and doing nothing (productive at all).

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