If we want to be high-functioning and happy, we need to re-learn how to do nothing. When we feel like there isn’t enough time in the day for us to get everything done, when we wish for more time… we don’t actually need more time. We need more stillness. Stillness to recharge. Stillness so that we can feel whatever it is that we feel. Stillness so that we can actually enjoy this life that we are living. Stillness so that we can access our visceral knowledge, so that our brain can generate creative insights.
(I know you probably thought you were done with the strategic slacking unit, but…it’s baaaa-ack. Slacking is critical for accessing our visceral knowledge system, too.)
Here’s what you need to do in order to experience that stillness:
Well, not nothing: Keep breathing. Even if you are dying to get to the next unit, don’t go there yet. Take 20 minutes to unplug entirely: turn off computers and phones and anything that might alert you to an incoming communication. (As I hope you learned in Unit 3: DETOX, the world will not stop spinning if you disconnect for 20 minutes, but your head might.)
Sit in a comfortable position, or lie down. Now: Do nothing. Stare into space. If you start feeling bored or antsy, that’s normal. Just notice what you are feeling. If you start feeling sleepy, that’s okay; just notice if you are starting to fall asleep. Don’t judge yourself.
The good news is that by letting yourself get a little bored each day, or taking a breather to just be, without also doing anything, you open space for creativity and all your intuitive wisdom.
Join the Discussion
How did you feel when you tried this? Were you able to unplug for a full 20 minutes? What made it hard — or what made it easy?
This post is from a series about authenticity from the “Science of Finding Flow,” an online course I created as a companion to my book The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less. Want to go on to the next class or start the course from the beginning? It’s free! Just go to The Science of Finding Flow course page. Enjoy!