I am not very good at doing nothing. In fact I am not even very good at doing one thing at a time. I am the person who grabs for my phone to check Facebook or play a game while watching a TV programme I have really been looking forward to. I will listen to a podcast or video feed while creating something in my studio.
I am trying very hard to discipline myself to single tasking. It is working. I have completed a course in TEFL – teaching English as a foreign language this year and also written the first draft of a novel, both of which required single tasking and focus. Despite this I am still not very good at doing nothing.
The queen of multi taskingI put the kettle on to boil and start thinking what I can do while it boils. My mind jumps around as I am cleaning, thinking of what I can do next or planning another chapter in my book. (I have started on book two.)
My big indulgence is my bath. I set up the bathroom with beautiful oils and soft light, determined to spend time wallowing and doing nothing, and yes, you guessed it, I bring my Kindle into the bathroom and lie amongst the bubbles reading.
There is nothing wrong with being busy. And nothing wrong with multi-tasking either, it is just wonderful now and again to simply do nothing.
Pandemic and Covid musings
The past few months have been seriously hard on everyone. Nothing is the same at all, and probably will never be again. We have all had to adjust to massive changes in the world. For many it has meant less time socialising and doing things. For those with children at home it has been a very busy time, but for others it has been a lonely time.
Yes, we have had friend zooms and family zooms and lots of Netflix, but I have found myself with time to simply sit and think. I have found times when I could justify doing nothing at all. I have sat on the deck in the garden and abandoned my ever present book to simply sit and think.
Choose Nothing as a positive option
It is amazing what happens when you do nothing. First your brain struggles with it and thoughts dive in like the washing that needs to be hung out or that letter you forgot to post. Then your brain stills and you become aware of simply doing nothing. You become aware of your breathing, and the sights, sounds and aromas that surround you. And then after a short while of beautiful nothingness true creativity starts to spark. It is as though this very small rest for your brain has given food and rest to your imagination.
I have my best ideas after doing nothing. It is a conscious choice though and it isn’t as easy as it seems. Stare off into the distance, and instead of worrying about what should be done, choose nothing. If you are lucky enough to get a staycation or even a vacation, find time to simply close your eyes and look at the clouds or the blue sky and do nothing.
As we come out of lockdown – a little – and try and find the new normal in this post pandemic world I am making myself a promise to learn from the animals in my garden. It is ok to sit and rest and do simply nothing. It is also ok to run about and quack and chirp too. It is all about balance.
I would love to hear what lessons you have learnt in lockdown this very interesting year of 2020.
Thank you for reading.