The Art of Doing Nothing – by Veronique Vienne

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Offers ten ways to essentially do mindless activities in order to recharge your mind, balance your mood, and gain a greater appreciation for life. Found it very helpful for helping me think better and be more creative.


  • Waste time on the spur of the moment
  • Give yourself permission to abandon any activity mid-way through
  • Welcome the urge to do other things


  • Inhale in order to exhale
  • Don’t worry about breathing deeply; short breaths are fine


  • Close your eyes, relax
  • Focus on internal imagery
  • Silence your internal critic and accept images as they come


  • Find a comfy spot (chair, couch, bed) and just drop into it
  • Let the day’s thoughts swirl in your mind
  • Stay put until you feel an urge to do something
  • Do take notice of the little details in your environment


  • 10 minute naps
  • Close the curtains
  • Sleep under the covers but not under the sheets
  • Tell yourself what time you want to wake up and let your subconscious wake you up
  • Be slow to get out of bed


  • Put your ears under the water, listen for awhile
  • Put oils into the bath to create a nice aroma


  • Look at and smell food and drink
  • Try to come up with adjectives to describe food
  • Eat and drink slowly to savor taste


  • Full body stretch when yawning
  • Open mouth as wide as possible
  • Let out a sound as you stretch
  • Stretch your toes also (stretch out for 10 seconds, and then release)


  • Attend a meeting and just observe
  • Use your whole body, not just your ears, to interpret what other people mean


  • Use present tense and future tense appropriately (don’t say: “The plan arrives in 5 hours,” instead say: “The plane will arrive in 5 hours”)
  • When you have to wait, occupy your time with activities, including moving back and forth, counting patterns
  • Give your future a past to remember

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