Byron's Babbles

Aggressively Doing Nothing

Posted in Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on February 9, 2022

There has been a lot written about “doing nothing” in lots of different contexts. There are those times on a Sunday afternoon when you just want to do nothing. There are those times where you can’t decide, so you do nothing (which some would say is doing something). The problem is we usually associate doing nothing with irresponsibility. In the novel Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir I was reminded that doing nothing and reflecting can be important to solving problems. When Dr. Ryland Grace is recovering from amnesia he stops every so often and reflects back on things from the past when something in the present jogs his memory. At one point in the novel he says, “I’m doing something by aggressively doing nothing.” This really got me thinking about what it would be to aggressively do nothing.

Research tells us that when we allow ourselves periods of uninterrupted, freely associated thought then personal growth, insight and creativity are more likely to emerge. This can be critical for us to seek the unfamiliar. Our subconscious kicks in and we become more creative. This can help us to solve problems we are facing. It might feel weird to do nothing, but might just be a way of investing in our own well-being. Hyper-busyness seems to be equated to success, but do we give up our ability to be significant (the difference we make), or really make a difference? Now I am not suggesting we all start aggressively doing nothing all the time or quit making decisions, but am suggesting we can use it as a tool to recharge or take a step back to get another perspective.

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