The Benefits of Doing Nothing

In 1370 AD, the first public clock tower was erected in Cologne, Germany, and from that day forward, the clock has been running our lives.

I am still determining where I fall on the time-consciousness spectrum, but I do know that we had a snowstorm last week. And while shoveling, I counted the songs on my Spotify country music playlist to determine how long it took. 

And I know that when I read stats like these, they make me crazy:

  • According to Arwen Curry, before Edison invented the light bulb, the average person slept eleven hours a night. 
  • A Senate subcommittee in 1967 was told that by 1985, the average American would work only twenty-two hours a week for twenty-seven weeks a year. (Technology and Social Trends, Kerby Anderson)
  • By 2007, the average American worked nearly four more weeks per year than in 1979. (“Vast Majority of Wage Earners are Working Harder,” Lawrence Mishel)


I don’t have a complete solution to our overly time-conscious lives, but scheduling a day to DO NOTHING productive is a great starting point.

Yes, you read that right. Schedule a day to DO NOTHING productive. No work. No grocery shopping. No checking “have-to’s” off your list.  

Many societies throughout history have baked this practice into a weekly rhythm called the Sabbath. 

Many of you remember a time when stores were closed on Sundays. 

So as we close out 2022, let’s spend one of the year’s final days DOING NOTHING. 

After all, DOING NOTHING has several benefits: 

  1. Relaxation: Doing nothing allows you to recharge your batteries. 
  2. Creativity: Doing nothing allows your mind to wander and can lead to increased problem-solving skills.
  3. Increased productivity: Doing nothing can increase your productivity in the long run. It allows you to return to tasks with renewed energy and focus.
  4. Improved decision-making: Doing nothing allows you to reflect on your choices and consider different options.
  5. Improved relationships: Doing nothing can also allow you to connect with others and strengthen your connections, which research shows is THE key to long-term success.  


One final thought to effectively DO NOTHING IN 2022, put your phone out of reach.


Brian Rutherford

Brian Rutherford is Director of Content and Product Strategy for Leadercast. Brian has been telling stories professionally for twenty-five years. Stories that inspire people to see themselves and the world differently. Stories that challenge people to take meaningful action in the world.

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