Doing Nothing or The Smartest Choice I Made All Week


I have got a lot on my plate at the moment: Working weekends to build my business, keeping the page and blog up to date and promoting a crowdfunding campaign, all the while working a day job to pay the bills, fulfilling other big and small obligations, trying to follow a hobby and have somewhat of a social life. In combination the above can make life appear to be one big clusterf**k.

So when my alarm went off the other morning, I just had it with everything. I didn’t want to face the hustle, the to-do list or the people to call. I didn’t want to open my laptop. The time spent on facebook and twitter, those minions of the digital Antichrist, I wanted to much rather invest into eating cereal from the box in my pajamas. Balling up in fetal position and lying in the half-dark of my bedroom while powering through a TV series I had already watched seemed like a great choice to spend the day.

So just as every sensible person would, I did nothing.

For an hour or so I just lay there, not moving much, just breathing and letting my thoughts drift. My inner monologue slowly shifted from rants a là Ari Gold (warning, strong language) to a slower, clearer and more reflective voice. I began to process through the big solid mass of incongruent thought lingering in my head. Things started clicking into place and the throbbing in my temple slowly abated. I felt much better.

I have been in that exact same situation before, except sometimes the series I want to watch is a different one. It always leaves me with one question: how the hell did I get myself into the black hole that is overwhelm, again? The answer is that productivity can be a trap. I like getting things done but sometimes I get so strung up on being productive that I feel guilty when I’m not working on anything. Sound familiar? I bet it does.

The solution to overwhelm is not to do more or to try harder but to prioritize. In order to do so it is necessary to have enough distance from the issue. Only then can we evaluate which choice is going to be the smartest. Taking some time not doing anything provides the space to let the chatter in our heads quiet down and bring order into our thought processes.

Only through this one change I have reduced my stress level significantly. I am feeling more concentrated and more in control of my life. As a direct result I have actually gotten more productive. Sounds to good to be true, right? But try it out. Next time you find yourself overwhelmed, instead of banging your head harder against the wall, do the opposite, do nothing for a bit. Things will start to crystallize.


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