A New Chapter in Doing Nothing
January 4, 2021
It’s somehow appropriate that the post immediately following one about making progress falls an entire month to the day of not making any. Half of that time, however, was by design. As the year came to an end I took off two full weeks, covering the Christmas and New Year holidays. During this time I afforded myself the opportunity to do as little as possible and I took full advantage. I got a cold halfway through my fortnight of loafing which drove the lack of action into another gear. There’s something valuable about the zone of intensity in my early-morning routine, and my lack of productivity shared some of those qualities. Let’s call it aggressive leisure. With that in mind, I’ve devised a year-long plan for 2021 that I hope will facilitate a nice balance between progress and rest. It’s a concept I eluded to in my previous post about the cyclical nature of these things, and how the structure of my day could likely be scoped out to larger stretches of time.
To that end, I’m aiming for a 6 week cycle of productivity followed by 2 weeks of “rest”. After this end-of-year hiatus, I feel antsy to get back to actually doing something, which is exactly the kind of feeling I want to maintain throughout the year. What I’m predicting (read: hoping) is that by the end of the 6 weeks I can’t wait to take a break and at the end of that break I can’t wait to get back to work. The number of weeks I chose was based on the vast sample size of 1 that I experienced 9 weeks prior. I executed my productive routine for 7 straight weeks preceding the two week holiday break, and this seemed like a reasonable thing to try to carry through the entire year.
I want the stark contrast of these two states of being to keep me continually engaged, avoiding the listlessness that often creeps into my life when things get stagnant. I’ll likely add some milestones along the way so I have more project-oriented things I can check off a big list, but I’ll settle for just waking up at 5am consistently again to start.