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Doing Nothing

Profile photo of Harry Hoover Submitted by Harry Hoover March 15, 2016


Doing nothing is not as popular as it should be. Many famous people have weighed in on this subject – most of them vehemently against the idea.  For instance:

“Doing nothing gets you nothing.” – Sean Reichle

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” – George Bernard Shaw

“To do nothing is the way to be nothing.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

But I tend to agree with Mortimer Adler, who said, “You have to allow a certain amount of time in which you are doing nothing in order to have things occur to you, to let your mind think.” Now, neither he nor I are talking about going off to a desert island for an extended period of time. We are advocating occasional, short breaks to re-center yourself.

I know that you have deadlines and multiple tasks to finish as soon as humanly possible, right? Well, sometimes a short break of just a couple of minutes can help you increase your productivity and lessen the errors you might make if you are completely stressed out. Most of us know when we are at that point and that we should take a quick breather before all our mental reserves are consumed.

Although not quite as good as 20 minutes of meditation, the two-minute break at your desk can be a lifesaver. But it is hard to do nothing for two minutes. So, that’s today’s challenge. Can you do it?

You’re going to go to this website, where you will see a relaxing photo of the ocean and will hear waves crashing on the shore.  The catch: you must not touch your keyboard or your mouse for two minutes. If you do, the two minute timer resets. Go try it out, them come back and tell us about it. Did it work for you? Feeling a little clearer?

This post was originally published in by Harry Hoover

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