How to Do Nothing. Effectively.

I told my dog when we sat down to discuss the family budget that I wanted to train to swim Lake Willoughby with her this year.  She looked at me with her large brown eyes knowingly and then looked away.

Meet Guri’s I-don’t-believe-you face.

She was right, of course.  I started work and it’s all I can do most days to give her a quick walk, pack a lunch and get some sleep before work comes again.

The sum of my existence is work, driving to work, driving from work, and sleeping.

I do not go to the gym.

I do not swim.

I do not train.


But I decided to do nothing the best that I possibly can.  I’ve also decided to share it with you.  Because you can help by making me feel like you’re reading this and keeping me accountable, and then maybe we can do nothing together.

1Don’t eat fast food. 

This has been a struggle for me forever.  I used to have say, like a mantra, “I am not the kind of person who eats fast food.”  That helped a lot.  Where my fast food eating used to be daily – it’s dwindled to only on rare occasions.  That’s pretty awesome!  But it gets hard when I travel and I don’t plan ahead for the week. I have to be cunning and stalk my green things like some wild, carefree, beautiful, mythological hunting goddess…

I just love green things.  I’m weird.  You knew this.


2. Control your calories.


I have begun keeping track of my calories.  But not only calories – also the type of calories and the benefits of them.  I don’t try to stick to a diet these days.  I let myself have basically what I want, but I track it all.  It’s such useful data in interpreting my moods and energy levels.  Understanding how much I actually need to eat versus how much I want to eat is kind of startling information.  It’s such little effort to track what you put in your body and to let your own self judge you.

I mean, reality check: I am no long expending thousands upon thousands of calories a day swimming or running.

I am only burning thousands of calories.

Doing nothing.

3.  Move when you can.


Confession: When I have the field office to myself and I’m waiting for the printer, I do squats.  I also do pushups in the bathroom.  When I started, I couldn’t do ten pushups.  Today, I did 20 in two separate intervals of 10!!  FULL PUSHUPS! I can’t even remember the last time I could do an actual pushup due to ripping my shoulders apart for years swimming (literally, there were bruises down my arms).  It’s my little break at work and I mostly can find the 30 seconds to myself to keep myself limber and strong.  I also do my utmost to get home with 20 minutes to walk my dog.  That’s sacred time.  I do all my chores on the weekends so that I can have those few minutes with her because it does so much for the both of us.  On weekends, I have to find a balance of social things and spending time in the wild.  I have to.  It’s what I need and the way I was built.

4.  Keep your head.

As much as I want to do things and plan things and go on adventures… I know that focusing on work is imperative.  I have a plan.  It’s a good plan.  Finish school, then you can swim and climb mountains and volunteer and create business plans and write books and do anything you want.  The reward will be more than I could ask.  So I try to give my mind everything it needs to be sharp and focused – emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  Getting rest.  Eating right.  Keeping track of what I can.  Not overextending myself.  Saying No.  Saying No ALOT.

Most of all, if I find myself with a free moment where I’m not driving to work or at work or driving from work or sleeping… I sometimes let myself do absolutely nothing.

It’s okay.

Because it’s effective.

3 thoughts on “How to Do Nothing. Effectively.

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