Mark and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary this weekend doing a whole bunch of nothing. We napped, watched the waves roll in, enjoyed long walks, took pictures of sea lions, read and napped some more. We didn’t do anything that anyone would consider productive, yet all of that nothing was life-giving.
Our long stretch of doing nothing reminded me of the importance of making room for little pockets of nothing every day. If we don’t take time to do nothing, we compromise everything.
3 compelling reasons to schedule more nothing
1. Emergencies and surprises are out of your control.
Test fate and plan your day, hour by hour. Don’t leave any room in between tasks, appointments or commitments. Emergencies and surprises consider this an invitation to show up and blow up the notion that you think you run the world. Instead leave a little room for nothing. The nothing may turn into something and you’ll have time for it. If the nothing is nothing, consider it bonus time for a nap, a walk, or just sitting quietly.
2. Less rushing around makes you a kinder person.
Compare how you feel coming home after a day of back to back meetings with how you feel after coming home from a run or a long walk. Consider how you treat people after constantly reacting to email, social media, people you work with, and your racing mind all day versus how you treat people after you’ve unplugged for a while and given yourself time to be alone; away from people and your digital devices. You are likely more present, softer, and kinder.
3. Time for nothing invites you to remember yourself.
If you don’t build in a little margin and time for nothing, you won’t be able to listen to your heart or process ideas. After a day of non-stop input, you have to recover, shut down, or numb out. Instead schedule nothing if only to give yourself a minute to remember who you are, what you want, and how you want to live.
If doing nothing is hard for you, consider the benefits. Hanging around, puttering, daydreaming or whatever form your nothing takes is restorative for your mind, body, and heart. It’s a gift to you and everyone around you.