Can You Teach Me the Art of Not Doing?

I’m frequently over-scheduled, and I generally like it that way. I like to move, have things to do and details to think about. While this works for me most of the time, it makes it downright impossible for me to not “do” sometimes.

For example, I took a few days off recently. Turned off my BlackBerry, and I didn’t even boot up the computer. It was nice, a much-needed break. But guess what? I still kept thinking that I needed to be doing something productive. So even when I wasn’t doing anything specific, I was thinking about what I needed to do! I’m pretty sure that diminishes the value of not doing, doesn’t it?

So, I ask you: How have you mastered the art of not doing? Have you taught yourself to do nothing, and not think about doing something? And above all, actually enjoy it?

Image credit: Smicko

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Alyssa Gregory
Alyssa is a digital strategist, content marketer, freelance writer and founder of the Small Business Bonfire. She's a team player, a team builder and not a bad leader, either. You can often find her on various social networks looking for remarkable people to collaborate with.


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  2. AC

    I can highly recommend to turn your blackberry profile to phone only mode. You read email when you can/want to vs. being nagged by it all the time. “ding!”

    • I recently shut off all notifications of new messages on my Blackberry, which has definitely helped in controlling email and when it’s read. I do the same with my email client — great for reducing distractions during the workday!

  3. Hi Alyssa!

    I know what you mean about thinking you need to be doing something productive — I sleep with a notepad by my bed for middle of the night ideas. How wired is that? Congratulations on managing to turn it all off for a few days. You’ve inspired me to — maybe — try it! :)

    It’s hard to turn the brain off. I live int he city and sometimes I’ll sit on my upstairs balcony and just watch the people walk by below, or try to parallel park their cars. No phone… no book… just the neighborhood. I totally enjoy this.

    Thanks for planting the idea of really, really taking a break!


    • Theresa – we can do it together! :) I also get struck by the middle-of-the-night inspiration…that combined with a fear that I’m going to forget things unless I write them down keeps me connected with my BlackBerry or laptop all the time. We need to untether!

  4. Pingback: Não precisa abraçar o mundo, tenha momentos para descansar. | Saia do Lugar

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