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Do Nothing & Be Productive

🤔 Why would you invest 20 minutes of your day thinking about nothing?


🤔 Counterintuitively “Doing nothing can be productive”


🧠 When we allow our brains to idly wander we activate the “DMN” (default mode network) part of our brain which is crucial to improving memory, creativity and relationships.


😬 However, our day to day lives are often overwhelmed with constant communication and mental processing – making it really tough to pause and avoid decision-making, problem-solving or stimulation. This means the “attentional” part of the brain is switched on most of the time and the DMN is switched off.


When we do ‘pause’ and ‘disengage’ the DMN is switched on – allowing ourselves to literally “update ourselves”. 


🎯 We consolidate memories by replaying them – improving our memory.


🎯 We reflect on our thoughts & actions – optimising our behaviours.


🎯 We interpret social cues – improving our ability to interact with others.


🎯 We imagine future events and develop ideas – enhancing our creativity.



Pausing to do nothing

Mastering the art of “pausing”, “zoning out” or being “task-negative” is a skill you can develop. If you struggle try these:


1️⃣ Go for a walk or run – without a podcast playing in your ears – allow you mind to wander.


2️⃣ Do something repetitive or boring – doodling, cutting the lawn – where you don’t have to actively make decisions.


3️⃣ Stare out of the window – engage your panoramic gaze which is extremely calming.


4️⃣ Sit and breathe through your nose – nasal breathing activates the DMN.


5️⃣ Practice mindfulness without fixed focus – where you don’t require great attention.


6️⃣ Try to avoid ‘rumination’ - this can happen when we have high levels of anxiety or stress. Zoning out can actually be counter-productive as we may create negative thoughts about the future which aren’t good for our mental wellbeing.



🤔 How is "doing nothing" perceived in your organisation? 


🤔 Essential for 'productivity' or 'time wasting'?


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