This Lent, Tim Hardy has been trying to avoid busyness – after being given a I’M NOT BUSY wristband (see http://www.notbusy.co.uk ) by his boss. I am grateful to him for sending me these reflections.
Tim is the writer of an occasional blog http://www.timbo-baggins.co.uk/ (very) short stories and ‘poetry’; believer in God, people and (more often than not) the church; and pioneer of the rambling, trailing-off introduct…
Positively Doing Nothing
One week into Lent and a quick recap seems in order – every day, I’ve been attempting to sit and do nothing for at least ten minutes (in a Lenten discipline kind of way, not an unsurprising slobbing around kind of way) and then sitting down to write something, whether inspired by the inactivity or otherwise.
Day Seven: Making a List
Today, I was back at work after what seemed like a very long weekend. It still feels like there’s way too much to do, and two hour calls from technical support do little to ease the workload. This feeling of too much to do and not enough time continued right up until I sat down and forced myself to stop.
Cue my internal monologue coach suggesting that it might be a good idea to make a list of the things that were important to me and his being rudely heckled by the question as to why I wasn’t doing them and instead was filling my life with other stuff.
This seemed to call for four lists (and I swear this was as far as I got before I calmed myself down and tried to stop busily thinking):
- Things I can’t avoid but need doing anyway: taxing the car, paying the bills, et c.
- Things I don’t particularly want to do but find myself doing anyway: watching rubbish on the telly, mindless Twitter consumption, doing killer sudoku, extra jobs
- Things I do that I want to continue doing: spending time with my wife, hanging out with my friends, doing my job, eating good food
- Things I do want to do but never get round to or I don’t have the time for: read more novels, read more proper books, fill in the Giant Form of Doom, write some more stories, do some research
As I tried not to make plans regarding the various bits of lists that were forming, an overwhelming desire seized me. However, I knew that if I acted on it all my nothingness for the evening would be wasted. I really, really wanted to know what was in that box-I-didn’t-quite-recognise-on-top-of-that-cupboard-there! I lasted until the alarm went and then I checked.
Reflecting on this evening’s nothing – it seems to have been the most productive so far. Now it’s just a case of doing something with what’s been thrown up from my brain.