When Nothing is Something

Of all the things I do nothing is what I do best. I don’t get to do nothing very often but when I do I’m as committed to it as anything else I do. I’m a pretty serious nothing doer, it’s one of the most important things I do.

Many people feel that to be successful you always have to be doing something but I think doing nothing is every bit as important as doing something. As a matter of fact, I think doing nothing is doing something very special.

Confused? Let’s see if I can help with that.

A couple of times a year, spring and fall, the call comes. I glance at the phone and see my Dad is calling. I know by the time of year exactly why he is calling. It’s time to either put the dock in or take the dock out. The call has been known to go something like this:

Dad: “Hey, what are you doing this weekend?” Me: “Nothing.” Dad: “Good, I need help at the lake, time to take the dock out.” Me: “I can’t, I’m busy.” Dad: “You just said you weren’t busy.” Me: “No, I said I’m doing nothing.” Dad: “Well then, why can’t you help?” Me: “Cause I’m doing nothing this weekend, nothing is the something that I’m planning to do.”

It’s at this point that I feel like I’m in a Laurel and Hardy comedy skit trying to explain that nothing is something and it’s the something that I’ve been planning to do that particular weekend.

You may well feel as if you’re super human and that you can keep burning the candle at both ends indefinitely but the reality is that no one can. At least not while trying to remain effective. You need time to do nothing. The research is pretty clear, you are less productive if you never take some time for yourself. Everyone, yes everyone, even you, needs time to recharge, reenergize and just reflect. I think it’s important enough that I have even occasionally put appointments on my calendar to do nothing.

Now, truth be told something almost always fills the “nothing void” but it’s something that I didn’t intend to do, it’s almost always non work related and it’s stress free. In other words… FUN.

So relax, plan some nothing time soon. You’ll see just how easy it is to turn nothing into something truly special.

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