It's Okay to Do Nothing for A While

Derek Meer

Derek Meer
Posted on 19 Feb 2021 · 2m read

I've tried to be more mindful recently with the help of the Headspace app. In case you're not familiar with Headspace, it guides you through a series of mindfulness sessions aimed at helping you in certain areas: health, work, happiness, dealing with emotions, and others.

Additionally, it has a "Foundation" series that teaches you how to meditate. Later sessions in this track remove the "training wheels" and leave you to sit in silence. Before the silence begins, the guide addresses a number of feelings that might surface: restlessness, sleepiness, boredom, and general distraction.

"All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone."

Blaise Pascal

One of the takeaways from these experiences is that long periods of silence can help you. That is, you should give yourself time to do nothing every once in a while.

I've been though about thirty of these "silence" sessions, yet I get agitated when a work project isn't moving at the pace I want. "I need to do something", I think to myself as I consider my own fleeting mortality, "otherwise I'm wasting my time." It makes me anxious, irritable, and miserable to work with. The fact that I don't have regular income doesn't help matters.

I'm sure others have similar thoughts about how they spend their time. I'm using this post to remind myself — and anyone else who may need it — that: