The Discipline of Doing Nothing

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I can’t think of any benefits of this pandemic, but if there was one, it might be how it forced me to slow down. Eventually, I will return to the rat race with all its demands and deadlines. But I hope I never forget the one lesson I learned: to consciously “insert pauses” into my day by developing the discipline of doing nothing. 

Many years ago, Coca-Cola ran a brilliant advertising campaign about “The Pause That Refreshes.” They were on to something. Pauses refresh us because they allow us to stop, refocus, and rest. 

The older I get, the more I’ve intentionally inserted pauses into my day. Some pauses are only a few minutes long; others are hours. It may be a walk to a faraway copier at work instead of the one in my department. Or driving an alternate route home. Or a day at the beach. The idea is to relax, rejuvenate, and rest by diverting my thoughts from what stresses me to what refreshes me. 

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