Determine to not do something subsequent yr
From Aruna Sankaranarayanan,
As another year approaches, we are tempted to use this temporal marker to make changes in our lives. We update our to-do lists, decide to change our habits, take new ventures, or renew our relationships. The desire to improve ourselves is the fundamental impulse that drives these behaviors. Whether we want to be more productive at work, more regular at the gym, or as a more caring partner, we're motivated to make progress or to make progress. From childhood on, relying on metrics to show our growth or dynamism, we continue to evaluate our lives by the amount of money, the total value of the contracts we have signed, the number of calories we lose, or size our social networks.
A capitalist view of productivity not only determines our working life, but also invades our leisure time. We count the number of steps we take and post pictures of cakes we bake in the hopes that they will get enough likes. We believe that by measuring and evaluating we can project our progress and control our successes in various areas. Although the pandemic has pierced a hole in our sense of control over our destiny, we continue to plan, evaluate and strive to improve our personal and professional lives. While goals and sense of purpose are related to our general wellbeing, we need to pause and wonder if we need to consider every moment, evaluate every aspect of our lives, and achieve all of the time. In other words, does productivity have to be the driving force that drives every action or every second?
In an article in Harvard Business Review, bestselling author Peter Bregman urges us to resist this relentless pursuit of productivity by doing nothing for at least a while. He admonishes us to accept "willingness" as opposed to "willpower". Instead of taking control of every second of our day, we can simply give in to the present without trying to achieve anything. Instead of regimenting and directing every experience, perhaps we can simply allow the present experience, whether sitting on a couch or walking down an alley, to subsume us.
Not doing anything is harder than it seems, especially if you are a compulsive list maker and an efficient planner. When you are disciplined, motivated, and hardworking, doing nothing can be a Herculean challenge as we live in a culture that seeks to optimize every facet of life. Jenny Odell, in her thoughtful and thought-provoking book How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, artist and writer, challenges us to question our utilitarian view of life and our notions of productivity and progress put. In fact, it even persuades us to transcend our individualistic notions of ourselves in order to capture the ecosystem around us.
In today's hurried, hectic and hectic world, time is a valuable resource. Given our lack of time, we believe that every minute must be invested in a productive goal. The idea of doing nothing therefore shakes many of our basic assumptions, which we consider to be truism. However, if we consciously choose to literally and metaphorically break away from our wired world, we can find that when our senses are sharpened, our sense of reality actually expands.
Odell reminds us that nothing leads to passivity, lethargy, or boredom. On the contrary, as we step off the productivity treadmill, we may find that we experience the sights and sounds of the world differently as we learn to see and hear with a new focus. In our hackneyed world, a real break usually means a change of scene or location. But when we are on vacation, our assumptions and worldviews travel with us. True retreat means taking a break from our ingrained notions of progress, where we consciously choose how to spend our days without being drawn into the vortex of our digital devices.
Odell reminds us that if we pay attention to how we are paying attention, we will see the untapped breadth and reach of our attentional skills. She likes paying attention to breathing. Most of the time, we just breathe in and out without noticing the flow of air through our body. However, when we pause to notice the breath, we realize that there are several planes in breathing. Deep, purposeful breathing is a completely different experience than the shallower, faster way we normally deal. Likewise, our attention and perceptual abilities expand when we direct our focus in a more conscious and less conditioned way.
When we reach the end of a turbulent year on a panhuman scale, we may be able to reset our goals and recalibrate to do nothing. Indeed, this might turn out to be a balm not only for our tired souls but also for our exhausted planet.
The author is an avid blogger. Her upcoming book is being published by Rupa Publications. The views expressed are those of the author.
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