doing nothing


In an age where hyper-productivity is a modern cult, how do we deal with doing nothing? How do we define our potential when the only thing that defines it is overwork?

“Your worth is not measured by your productivity,” reads an illustration by France Corbel. Probably it is easier said than done/applied. The idea of a college education has always been highly glamorised. It is a space where you must materialise all your capabilities to translate them into becoming your achievements. It has always been given the agency of being a place that allows you to explore opportunities.

Being driven by societies, lectures, meetings, internships, interviews, and all the while maintaining healthy social connections with people around, we seem to have lost the element of joy within us. In college, as you balance all these things and many others, what hangs in the balance is your own curiosity and your own interests. Simply because a day has only 24 hours. And given the scope of ambition in the pursuits of excellence and productivity, these 24 hours are too few.

When you are doing a lot of things, trying to juggle various jobs and responsibilities, there are some things that you are must give up. And it is in the moment of extreme business that you realise how many things you are missing out on. We are too many things, and yet never enough. Too many things, but yet feeling like doing nothing at all.

Lauren Bravo in an article discussing the importance of doing nothing writes, “I’m embarrassed by the books I have not read, the films I have not seen, the 3,000-word articles I’ve had to have juiced down by Twitter because I couldn’t be arsed to keep scrolling. “I’m really very lazy,” I say to people, just in case they’re already thinking it.”

In our age when even vacations are dedicated to working, most creative outlets have been obstructed because they have been put to use, not for the sake of aesthetic gratification but monetised for gain. We have booked our passage onto the road that leads nowhere but burnout. There is so much to do, and so less time.

Many of us have turned our hobbies into ‘side-hustles’; attempts at making our brand to head out confidently into a corporate world. When was the last time you did something for pure fun? The highly competitive and compelling nature of things around us has ingrained in us: Time spent on fun is wasted time. The power of being relaxed and happy has been invisibilised by the strict conduct of always being radically engaged in one thing or the other.

Often when we take a day off, it ends up in a pile of guilt. “I could have finished my assignment today.” Captured in the could-haves and ought-tos, we are never truly able to enjoy the moments.

Gift yourself a day of doing nothing. Go off social media, if that helps. Sit back in a comfortable chair in the park, and listen to the world around. The soft songs of the dusky union of birds, the troubled cries of a wayward sparrow- everything that surrounds us and more. Bask in the joy of being relaxed, doing nothing. Gift yourself, a little of you.


Feature Image Credits: Wikimedia

Kartik Chauhan
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