The Value of Doing Nothing

Image Credit: HD Wallpapers

Image Credit: HD Wallpapers

In this fast-paced society, if you’re not doing something, you’re not productive. This includes every hour, every minute of your waking life. There’s always people to see, work to be done, places to be visited, money to be spent, etc. You can’t waste time being idle.

I am an ambitious go-getter with multiple endeavors who thrives on doing ten things at once; it’s what keeps me sane, and I get anxious when I do nothing for too long. I used to wholeheartedly live by this social stigma. I used to associate doing nothing with laziness.

While I’m super organized and am pursuing all the things I love, I’m learning the value of doing nothing the older I get. Doing nothing is just as important as doing something, because frankly, life needs balance. Surprisingly, not a lot of people know how to do nothing. (Refer to Louis C.K.’s explanation below.) More importantly, not a lot of people know how to balance both because the other extreme of doing absolutely nothing to live your life is unhealthy as well. But for the most part, we are under constant pressure to always move, think, and do.

 

The problem is we get judged for doing nothing. We get judged for taking our sweet time to pursue our goals. We get judged for having an uneventful weekend. We get judged for declining an invitation and wanting to chill at home. This is something that has been ingrained in us from an early age. Since grade school, we were conditioned to praise those who continually did busy work and extracurricular activities. The classmates who had more idle time were predicted to be unsuccessful. But it should be normal for us to reset more often, even after a vacation (because vacations can be exhausting too). Otherwise we will burn out.

On that note, taking the time to do nothing also allows you to self-reflect and address your emotions. A more prominent problem is that we do a lot of surface level moving and doing, and not enough deep feeling and thinking. If you’re like me and most of society, it’s important to step back and look at everything you’re doing. Pinpoint what purpose the things you’re currently doing are serving in your life, and if they’re really helping you reach your goals. Perhaps you need to rethink your goals and life decisions. But you can’t do any of that unless you stop and rest.

And if you have to, cut down and consolidate your schedule so you can put more effort in your most desired dreams and endeavors instead of spreading yourself so thin across too many. Recently in my personal life, I have reached burn out with my full-time career, two improv comedy groups, three triathlons, the NWYT blog, going out with friends, and much more on top of all the grownup errands and chores I have to do.

I was extremely exhausted and stressed, but I listened to my mind and body because my well-being should always come first. I can’t be the best person I can be if my well-being isn’t up to par. I reevaluated my goals and how I can accommodate my recovery, and that meant consolidating, such as writing monthly blogs instead of weekly blogs and going on a hiatus from improv comedy. While my ambitious go-getting self hasn’t changed, I feel like I’m making more progress towards my goals and the things I love to do while living a (somewhat) healthy and balanced life because I’m able to focus and think more.

Don’t be a victim of false productivity. Take time out of your schedule to do nothing because doing nothing is actually doing something.

About Ronnell Morris

Ronnell is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of NWYT. She is a copywriter by day, a performer by night, and a triathlete by weekend. She loves Disney, musicals, eating, YouTube videos, list-making, and the colors pink and gray too much for her own good. See All of Ronnell’s Posts

Comments

  1. Marlon Campbell says:

    You are a great writer !!!

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