The chance to slow down and live a younger, less mean life for some was a welcome respite from the rowdy and often stressful version before.
Some of us have realized that what once seemed unimaginable – white space on the calendar – is now essential to feeling calm. Few of us have known the joys of doing nothing.
CNN has asked Mecking to share Nixon’s secrets with us.
This interview has been slightly shortened and edited for clarity.
CNN: You write that doing the damn thing, or doing nothing, is not about work, emotional work, or meditation. How to do nothing?
Olga Meck: My goal was to try to understand what it is to do nothing and how it is different from doing nothing. It turned out to be more difficult than expected. While doing my research, I had a hard time finding anything to do with “doing nothing”. Instead, I had to look at words like “boredom”, “laziness” or “laziness”.
By definition I end up doing, I don’t really do anything, so I’m not on Facebook or watching a show, but I’m just sitting on the couch or in a cafe and looking out the window or watching them. people leave by. Sometimes we can call it ‘distance’ or ‘daydreaming’.
He also doesn’t do anything aimlessly. We often do things because we expect a certain result.
We run because we want to lose weight or prepare for a marathon, not just to feel good. I think we’ve lost the ability or just the pleasure of doing things “just because” or “for goodness sake”.
CNN: “To work” does not mean to do it Something?
to do: Your question is of a linguistic nature. In English, you have to say “do nothing”. But you can say “do nothing”.
In Polish, you have to use a double negative: Nic nie robić or nie robić nic, where nic is nothing and nothing or not.
In Dutch you have a word which means “do nothing” and it is “nexen”. When I first discovered this, I loved that the language can capture an entire concept in one word.
CNN: What are the tips to make sure we do the Nexen? Do we write it down in our diary? Or do we sometimes have nothing on our agenda?
to do: I’m a big fan of “doing any job,” so if you’re the type who likes to plan things out, do it. The Dutch love their diary. Productivity expert Laura Vanderkam suggests leaving some blanks on your schedule – for lunch, a break, a walk, or nothing.
If you’re the type of person to handle the flow, you should probably do what I’m doing and take a few moments of rest whenever you can. My favorite places are waiting rooms (like a doctor’s office), public transport, or park benches.
CNN: In the United States, people live in a society obsessed with productivity, but you’ve found that making Nixen part of the workday – working fewer hours – can actually increase productivity. How is it?
to do: We understand that our body needs rest every now and then. But somehow we expect our brains to work nonstop and it’s not sustainable. Because after a while our brain stops cooperating and the time we spend at work is wasted.
It is better to take a break, eat something and do nothing for a while. That’s the time it takes to work, yes. But it will also allow us to work better and obtain more productivity and a better quality of work.
CNN: How can lying still use more parts of the brain than doing a task? Tell us about the network in standard mode.
to do: A standard mode network is a special neural network in the brain that simply comes “online” or turns on in an fMRI machine, if we do nothing. As I understand it, when we participate in a task, our brain expends energy in the areas responsible for accomplishing that task. It doesn’t mean that our brains work less, they are just more focused.
But if we do nothing, a completely different and more detailed part will become active that connects the different regions of the brain.
Researchers believe that’s why our best ideas exist, not when we’re focused on solving a problem, but when we’re doing something unrelated to the problem, like taking a shower or walking.
CNN: I’ve found that our reliance on technology means we never do anything. How do we have to adapt our relationship to technology in order to be able to do the Nexen?
to do: Technology can be great, but it also permeates our work – we’re reachable anytime, day or night – and our free time, where we can constantly be entertained if we want to.
Many people use apps to limit screen time and use technology to control technology, but another option is to configure your surroundings so that you have a place to place your phone so that it not always be next to you or next to you. it’s not. Related technology such as books or limiting the number of apps or social media profiles you use.
CNN: How do we deal with the shame some of us feel when we’re not more productive, or the guilt we might feel if we go too long to Nixen?
to do: The important thing is not to fight it or to think that I shouldn’t feel guilty, which can lead to feelings of guilt about it. Just accept that we feel guilty and try to sit with that for a while and see what happens.
Does it go away after we have had a chance to daydream a bit and see that we feel more relaxed? Productivity expert Chris Bailey argues that we feel guilty when our actions conflict with our values, and the solution to guilt may lie in learning the value of doing nothing and relaxing.
CNN: What research do you cover on how we prefer to give ourselves electric shocks rather than being inactive?
to do: It was a 2014 study by Timothy Wilson that found that many people, having the choice between sitting in a room doing nothing or receiving mild electric shocks, preferred to shock themselves rather than feel any kind of shock. form of boredom or laziness. The majority of the people who chose to be shocked were male – and I’m not at all surprised.
CNN: You’ve proven that the Nexen is actually our “default state”, even though we all seem addicted to a lot of shots. How is it?
to do: Ironically, both can be true. The first humans had to live in a harsh environment that involved hard work – hunting, collecting food, preparing it for eating, cooking, preparing and repairing clothes, making tools, etc., but at the same time, humans are considered a fairly lazy species. : The study showed that if given the choice of taking the stairs or the elevator, guess what most people would choose? Yes the elevator. It has to do with saving energy.
Usually we don’t want to work unless we have to. But social expectations combined with modern economy and technology make us feel like we have to work, plan, plan and do something all the time.
CNN: You wrote that Dutch culture can be particularly receptive to Nexen for several reasons, including the high quality of life. But they also say, “Act naturally, that’s crazy enough. Could you explain?
to do: Acting naturally (do it naturally) is something you see a lot here, and it’s usually said in situations where people are seen to be bragging about or showing their feelings too openly. Although the Dutch are an incredibly individual people, following the rules, working together and ‘joining’ (contributing) is very important to them – more important than individual success or achievement.
CNN: Can you explain “learning to live at two speeds? “
to do: The idea of Nexen is not to sell everything you have and live in the wilderness. A busy life can always be a very good and happy life, filled with meaningful times with friends, family, a job, and maybe a hobby. Modern life offers many wonderful possibilities for entertainment and entertainment.
Some situations require hard work. If you are facing an emergency, don’t worry “sorry, you have nothing to do for a while”.
So there will be times when your schedule is pushed to the limit, but there must also be times when you will have time to relax, sit, read a book, or do nothing. It’s about when to go fast and hard and when to go slow.