With so many things to do, how can you make yourself more productive? Believe it or not, doing nothing can boost your output. It’s by practicing the Dutch concept of “Niksen.”
Niksen: The Dutch Concept of Doing Nothing
Before you leave, hear me out. Niksen literally translates to “to do nothing or to be idle without any use.” And it’s not procrastinating. It’s simply taking a step back and relaxing without purpose.
It can be listening to music or just plain sitting without care. You might say it’s pretty similar to mindfulness and meditation. It surely is.
The main difference is mindfulness wants you to focus on the present moment or your breathing to be more aware of your wellbeing. In contrast, Niksen doesn’t have the same intention. It’s literally doing nothing on purpose.
What’s So Hard About That?
Have you ever stopped doing something with your every minute? Try it. Stop the impulse of checking your phone or fidgeting something when you don’t have anything to do. It’s harder than you think.
With all the distractions around us, can you pause and do nothing? If yes, for how long? And why should you even care? Well, here are 3 reasons why doing nothing can make you more productive.
Boosts Creativity for New Ideas
Have you ever daydreamed or wandered about things while doing nothing? Most have. And this can boost creativity. A free-flowing creative mind can produce new ideas for different tasks.
According to research, doing nothing allows your mind to be inspired with your goals and have clarity in reaching them. If your mood is down or you are experiencing a creative block, you might need to step back and do nothing.
You’ll never know. That extra minutes of doing nothing might lead to your next big breakthrough.
Better Problem-Solving Skills
Doing nothing also promotes better problem-solving skills. How do you do that? Will the answer just fall out from the heavens?
Not exactly. There are times when you just can’t find the answer to a dilemma. This is no matter how you focus on solving it. It just doesn’t come out.
But after focusing so much, you can step aside and do nothing. Surprisingly, a eureka moment happens.
And this is not just happenstance. It’s based on diffused and focused thinking. When we focus hard on one thing (Focused Thinking) and can’t seem to solve it, taking a break will do wonders.
It can be taking a walk. Showering. Or just plain doing nothing. It activates your subconscious mind (Diffused thinking) and connects information that might lead to a solution.
So your Eureka moment is not by chance. It’s a fruit of your doing nothing!
Relieves Stress and Avoid Burnout
With the many looming deadlines and responsibilities, stress is one of our daily drivers. It allows us to be on our edge and be the best we can be. But then, too much stress can lead to a lot of health problems.
And yes, you can even experience burnout even if you work-from-home. Practicing will prevent that.
Spare some time without worrying about your work. Literally, don’t mind it. The rest and relaxation will ease your stressors to avoid burnout and for better mental health.
Word of Caution: Don’t Use it As an Excuse
As adults, most can’t actually do nothing for a long time. We have responsibilities. We need to pay our bills. So don’t use Niksen as an excuse for laziness. How would you know?
It’s when you’re using it too much. Check your productivity. After your Niksen sessions, did you feel refreshed to take on your tasks again?
You can couple this practice with time blocking to ensure that you’re aiming for productivity. In this way, you can manage your productive time while having time to do nothing.
With that, go on and listen to some music. Have that bubble bath. Watch the sunset. Walk around (with safety precautions) with no destination in mind. Or just lie down and do nothing.
Practice Niksen and experience the benefits in your productivity. Cheers!