Obituary: The art of doing nothing

Published: November 11, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Dear friend, can we please take a moment to recognise that the art of doing nothing is dead? We are no longer capable of sitting still for a short while without reaching for our mobile phones, computer, or the television. The art of idling has breathed its last and perhaps the end began as much as ten years ago.

We were simply too caught up in our work, caught up with taking selfies, caught up with social media that we probably never noticed that we have lost the wonderful ability to do nothing.

Be it waiting at the airport or the doctor’s office, be it talking a walk or sitting with friends in park, while waiting for a traffic signal, even while driving there is an urge to reach for the mobile. So much that we do not bother to stop for a moment and listen to another person who is right next to us.

In doing so, we have destroyed one of the most wonderful gifts from nature and a chance to create. Doing nothing is a misnomer. All it means is no distractions. If we can sit staring at a sunset or a wall, the mind gets to work in peace.

Stay thoughts can nucleate into inspiration only without disturbance. By constantly engaging ourselves in some activity or the other, we may have driven stray thoughts and our ability to create itself into extinction.

introspection
Photo credit: Karthik Vinayak

Is there a way out?

Can we revive doing nothing from the dead?

  • Yes, but only if go a diet. A diet low-information diet.
  • By asking, will reading this tweet, this post, this thread, this message, help us in any or not?
  • By asking is there any glory in forwarding a forward?
  • By seeking information on a need-to-know-basis.

Introspection of one of The Five I’s of Personal Finance

The way out for me

I sit before the computer a lot. My only saving grace is that I do not have a smartphone. So when I step out of home or my office room, I get a chance to do nothing from time to time. I am trying to do more of this by taking long walks. This is when I get the ideas for what to do next – in the lab, in the classroom and for the blog. Yet, this is barely enough. I need to do a lot more.

Do you agree that the art of doing nothing is important but largely dead?

 

Do share if you found this useful
Share your thoughts on this topic at the  Reddit freefincal_user_forum

Reach your financial goals like a pro! Join our 1600+ Facebook Group on Portfolio Management! You can now reduce fear, doubt and uncertainty while investing for your financial goals! Sign up for our lectures on goal-based portfolio management and join our exclusive Facebook Community. The 1st lecture is free!
Want to check if the market is overvalued or undervalued? Use our market valuation tool (will work with any index!) or you buy the new Tactical Buy/Sell timing tool!
About the Author Pattabiraman editor freefincalM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. since Aug 2006. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin Pattabiraman has co-authored two print-books, You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) and Gamechanger and seven other free e-books on various topics of money management. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice. He conducts free money management sessions for corporates and associations on the basis of money management. Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, Cognizant, Madras Atomic Power Station, Honeywell, Tamil Nadu Investors Association. For speaking engagements write to pattu [at] freefincal [dot] com
About freefincal & its content policy Freefincal is a News Media Organization dedicated to providing original analysis, reports, reviews and insights on developments in mutual funds, stocks, investing, retirement and personal finance. We do so without conflict of interest and bias. Follow us on Google News Freefincal serves more than one million readers a year (2.5 million page views) with articles based only on factual information and detailed analysis by its authors. All statements made will be verified from credible and knowledgeable sources before publication. Freefincal does not publish any kind of paid articles, promotions or PR, satire or opinions without data. All opinions presented will only be inferences backed by verifiable, reproducible evidence/data. Contact information: letters {at} freefincal {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
Connect with us on social media
Our publications

You Can Be Rich Too with Goal-Based Investing

You can be rich too with goal based investingPublished by CNBC TV18, this book is meant to help you ask the right questions, seek the right answers and since it comes with nine online calculators, you can also create custom solutions for your lifestyle! Get it now. It is also available in Kindle format.
Gamechanger: Forget Startups, Join Corporate & Still Live the Rich Life You Want Gamechanger: Forget Start-ups, Join Corporate and Still Live the Rich Life you wantThis book is meant for young earners to get their basics right from day one! It will also help you travel to exotic places at low cost! Get it or gift it to a young earner

Your Ultimate Guide to Travel

Travel-Training-Kit-Cover-new This is a deep dive analysis into vacation planning, finding cheap flights, budget accommodation, what to do when travelling, how travelling slowly is better financially and psychologically with links to the web pages and hand-holding at every step. Get the pdf for Rs 199 (instant download)
Free android apps