Doing Nothing: Why and Doing It Guilt Free.

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I read this article by Lisanne in January and I remember thinking “YES.”

One, because I agreed and two, because I had been wanting to write about that for a while then too.

Now, as in agreement with my true nature, I got distracted, busy, procrastinated (order may have varied in an over-and-over type of cycle of those three things for a while there) but I did keep it in the back of my mind. Doing nothing. And that we should do more of it, guilt-free.

In my mind, doing nothing is doing things that serve no particular purpose except your own enjoyment/passing the time. When I do nothing, I read, watch TV, write for my own eyes only, or go for a walk and don’t Instagram that cute ass cloud. That’s doing nothing for me. It’s hard to nothing.

It’s hard to do nothing now, because most of our hobbies these days also have some sort of purpose. As so many of us are active online, we use a lot of our hobbies with purpose now to put on display in the online world.

We write for our blogs, we take pictures for our social media accounts, we draw so we can put it on Tumblr, we work out because we write for a fitness website/run a fitness Instagram account, we cook for our own catering business. Just to name a few examples.

This is great. We create content, we unite the enjoyment of our hobbies with the productivity of our side projects/side businesses. What we love to do, we don’t just do for the love of it anymore. Instead of just doing it for ourselves, we’re doing it for our audience, or in the hopes it will eventually become our job, our business, our career.

And that can be very nice, don’t get me wrong. When you CAN do what you love and making something out of it, whether it’s making a career out of it or making other people happy with it: Go for it.

But making everything you love to do into something with goals, plans and expectations can also result in stress, pressure and feeling stifled in groove and creativity. Like there is now a pressure on doing what you love.

Not everything needs to be seen. Not everything you do needs to serve a purpose. Not everything needs to be part of a greater plan to be seen, to become more awesome, famous or fitter.

I’ve started to incorporate more moments of doing nothing into my life here and there. I read more fiction, I sit with my coffee a little more, I spent time with my family and try to put away my phone.* I put away my laptop, get a notebook and write just for my own eyes, about things that are making me happy or about things that are bothering me.

Because doing things ‘just because you like them’ can be really good for you. You shouldn’t always WANT to be productive; it’s the moments where you take rest and just do nothing is where you recharge so you can work better when you need to!

Just doing whatever you want for no reason from time to time is really fun and really helps you relax.

Building time in your schedule to do this can give you a lot of energy and ideas to take with you for the goals and plans and purposes of your life!

What I’m trying to say is, do nothing every once in a while. Do nothing, enjoy it, and go back to productivity and purpose when you’re done.

Okay?

Okay.

*My parents probably won’t agree as I do look at my phone occasionally BUT HEY I AM TRYING, I’M REALLY TRYING OKAY? GOD.

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10 comments

  1. You are really inspiring to me, thank you for writing and putting your thoughts out there for others to learn from your experiences:)
    I think i’ll just go and do nothing for the rest of the evening, for me! Have a great evening Lianne!

  2. So true, but something I am really struggling with. Doing nothing still feels like something bad to me. But today I had a nice practice lying in the sun 🙂

  3. Wat een heerlijk artikel!! Hier zou ik ook graag aan willen werken,,, ik ga dit artikel even vaak nalezen! Thanks!

  4. Have been doing this a lot lately and I love it! Took me some time not to feel guilty (still) as being busy all the time somehow became a habit without me noticing it. It wasn’t until I took a real vacation in Brazil that I realized that I need more balance in my life and that it makes me better in every way!

  5. Hey, great post! Totally agree that we should remove the guilt factor from doing nothing. Bertrand Russell made the same point in his 1932 essay “In Praise of Idleness.” Essentially his argument is that so much human effort is wasted and unproductive, positive use of leisure activity is actually undervalued. We should work less but and instead get better at doing nothing. The sweet spot is probably somewhere between obsessive workaholism on the one extreme and binge watching game of thrones with an open packet of Doritos on the other 🙂

    Thanks for a great read,
    Nathan from ExisleEmpowerment

  6. Goed artikel, babe!
    Ik probeer het ook toe te passen. Ik vind het vooral lastig om niks te doen als er nog zo veel moet gebeuren. Ik denk steeds dat ik beter kan relaxen als de afwas weg is, de campagne is ingeleverd of de boodschappen zijn gedaan. Als al die punten gedaan zijn zijn er altijd weer 100 andere dingen die ook eerst moeten gebeuren. Soms erg frustrerend. Ik ben opzich wel goed in niks doen maar blijf toch steeds denken aan alles dat ik moet doen. jouw artikel laat me weer even inzien dat er voor alles een tijd is: werken & niks doen. Love it.