The Importance of Doing Nothing

I'm beginning to realize where the most productive parts of my day are found. Well, the most significant, anyway. And it's not really about time management, per se. Perhaps time maximization. Is that a thing? Well, in any case, I’m finding that the majority of my work is not done sitting at the computer, or with the guitar constantly in my hands, or sitting down at the piano and grinding it out (although each of these things is vitally important in its own right).

My best work seems to be done in silence, staring out the window, or sitting outside with a cup of tea or coffee or whatever and just reflecting. What I’m reflecting on is relatively inconsequential. It’s more about the time and the quiet. Sometimes I’m reflecting on a song topic. Sometimes I’m reflecting on whether or not a certain chord really works where I’ve placed it. Sometimes I’m wondering if the pizza I had last night was the best idea. Sometimes I’m reflecting on what it would be like to write a blog post about the importance of doing nothing.

Whatever it is, I look at this a little bit like prep work. Think like a carpenter. It’s not unlike the “measure twice, cut once” adage. Or, for the body shop that’s about to paint a car, remembering that more time is spent prepping the workshop and sanding down the car than is actually spent painting. Why? Because the more time spent in preparation, the faster (and higher quality) the work will be.

So, while you’re looking at your To Do list and stressing out about everything that’s not getting done while you read this post, take time to embrace the quiet. This isn’t a “stop and smell the roses” type of encouragement. This is a “stop what you’re doing and look out the window for 5 minutes.” What’s outside the window is not what’s most important. What’s important is the silence; the time spent in reflection. 

So go. Do nothing. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, you won’t regret it. And your To Do list will thank you for the break.