Are you setting aside
time to do nothing?
don't know where the past several months have gone. The
summer whirled by and as fall is fast approaching, the
holidays will soon be upon us. Fortunately I did
get some down time and in fact, while we were on
vacation last month I realized that what I miss most
these days is the time to simply do nothing.
vacation required a bit too much of "doing."
are so much about doing, that we have undervalued doing
nothing and simply reflecting.
this year has been a bit like drinking from a fire hose;
from starting a new position while still maintaining
some speaking opportunities to undergoing a massive
renovation at my home. It seems that I have had a
shortage of inactivity to enable my doing nothing and
reflection. Reflection for me usually involves
sitting, staring out of a window and getting lost in a
sea of nothingness without any purpose or
As we all
get busy, it seems that the first thing to go is
that quiet time that we all need to feel grounded and
make the right choices and decisions.
kind of quiet time that has no intended purpose.
Not the kind of quiet productive time, like
reading a book, puttering around the house organizing,
or planning your next event.
kind of quiet time that is required for creativity to
and past boss at my former employer once tried to
institute the idea of scheduling an hour of no meetings
and doing nothing but thinking each day. I
remember the organization being puzzled about this, and
at the time, I didn't really understand what he was
trying to "accomplish" by enforcing people to do
the counter intuitive truth about doing nothing, is that
so much can happen as a result. He was right in
attempting to encourage this practice because too often
we go from one thing to the next without really having
time to reflect and think.
and thinking actually allows us to be more
productive. It also enables creativity and more
strategic thinking. It allows us to draw parallels
and connections between seemingly unrelated thoughts or
ideas. It deepens our understanding. It
helps us drive our lives, both at work and at home,
again reminded of this last week when my daughter came
home from school with a project. The project was
about exploration. The children were encouraged to
explore the world around them with all of their
senses. The directions for the project explained
that in order to effectively explore, observations
needed to be both quick and slow. Idling was
week during my push to do so many things, I
decided that my work would really be best served by
clearing some parts of my calendar, idling a bit so that
I could stare out of the window, and do nothing but
reflect. Brilliance awaits.
you, are you setting time aside to do nothing?
Laura Lopez is an
award-winning author of The
Connected and Committed Leader. She is a leadership and
branding expert who has been featured on the Today Show,
Latina Voices Smart Talk, Living Smart and Fox
In addition, her accomplishments have been
highlighted in several business periodicals
including Personal Excellence, The Long Beach
Business Journal, The Houston Chronicle, Latina
Magazine, and Central Valley Business Times. Her
articles on management and leadership are regularly seen
in Leadership Excellence.
Laura can be contacted via her Web site at: