Do nothing more often: 3 tips


Fancy freeing up more time so as to do nothing at all? These three tips may help.

Go for less

In order to give yourself more room to slow down and to loaf around, psychologist Patty van Ziel uses the key words ‘smaller’ and ‘less’: “Our world has become so big,” she says. “We want to know everything, but at the same time, we do know everything. The trick is to make it smaller. I think it’s important that you ask yourself every day: Why am I doing what I’m doing today? Suppose you decide to go see a theater performance when you have a free evening. First ask yourself: Why am I doing this? Because it makes me happier? If so, then that’s just fine, of course. But if you’re doing it because you want to able to talk about it later, then ask yourself: How important is that really to me? And are those people with whom I will talk about it important enough to warrant me wanting to do this? Stay critical, and remember the question: Why are you doing something?”

Away with perfection

Show perfectionism the door and indulge your inner slacker every now and then. And above all: don’t judge yourself when you do so. In his book How to Be Free, Tom Hodgkinson, writer and founder of the magazine for loafers, The Idler, advises that we lower the bar, take it easy, surrender to cheerfulness, and accept chaos. This makes a person happier—and he knows this from personal experience.

Set aside times to stop

If you’re someone who tends to just keep going, set the alarm on your phone for a ‘stop moment’ a few times a day. Just to remind yourself to slink off and relax for a nice ten minutes…

Text Otje van der Lelij  Translation Julia Gorodecky  Photography © Alisa Anton / Unsplash