The Pleasure of Doing Nothing

When did taking time out become a bad thing?! It’s time we re-discovered the pleasure of doing nothing - after all it comes with some surprising benefits!

Have you discovered the pleasure of doing nothing?!

In our modern world it seems that we are obsessed with being busy, squeezing more and more into our already crammed schedules.

Ask somebody how they’re going, and all too often they will respond with just one word (because who has time for more?!): “Busy!”.

What we never seem to hear is: “Actually, I’ve been doing nothing!” Because nobody wants to admit to wasting time.

Except that doing nothing isn’t a waste of time. According to research published in the Wall Street Journal, giving your brain a break has a positive impact on both productivity and long term learning.

Do You Know How to Do Nothing?

As a personal leadership and executive coach, the majority of my clients know how to get things done.

What they don’t know is how (or even when) to stop, and give their mind a rest.

And yet – it is when we do nothing that our brains have a chance to clear our minds of clutter, to rest and rejuvenate.

The lines between work and home are blurrier than ever since the arrival of a certain pandemic. So we’ve never needed the pleasure of doing nothing, more than we do now!

The Italians know it as il dolce far niente … or the sweetness of doing nothing.

We’re so used to phrases like “a watched pot never boils”, or “as boring watching paint dry”, that doing nothing or even being bored are seen as bad things.

We’ve forgotten that sometimes it is okay just do nothing. To watch. To be still. To listen. To take notice.

At Peter Doyle Coaching, we think doing nothing is so important that it’s part of the Mindful Leadership Training we provide to our clients.

Discover the Pleasure of Doing Nothing

One of the great things about doing nothing is that you can do it anywhere, any time. You don’t have to wait for your Christmas vacation!

If you’d like to include a little more nothing in your day, here are a few ideas to get you started – your brain will thank you for it!

  • Stop and smell the roses;

  • Watch a sunrise or a sunset;

  • Water your garden;

  • Try bird watching;

  • Take a shower;

  • Go fishing;

  • Pause to watch a storm roll in;

  • Take a walk without any tech. Don’t count steps, or rush – just enjoy being in nature;

  • Watch the washing on the line, as it flaps in the sunshine..

  • Take a nap;

  • Relax in front of a fire;

  • Stop for a coffee and sit in a cafe or park. Put your phone away and watch the world wag past!

It probably won’t come easily at first; you’ll have to fight the urge to be busy.

Get comfortable, and just do nothing.


We are human beings, not human doings.

Isn’t it time you discovered the benefits – as well as the pleasure – of doing nothing?

Perhaps you would first just love to gauge how you are currently tracking along your own path to becoming an Extraordinary, Inspirational, Next Generational Leader: then please click here to utilise our free self-rating questionnaire!

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