Start by adding Doing nothing on your to-do list

18 Mar, 2023

1 min

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5 reasons to do nothing this summer 

Far niente, oisiveté, niksen, relax, ocio, … every country has its own translation for ‘doing nothing’, but each associate a different meaning to this concept. For instance, the word Niksen in Dutch refers directly to stress relief and relaxation, while in France, the concept of oisiveté has a more relative meaning that can be contemplation for some and laziness for others. 

If idleness is an art form in itself, at Better&Stronger, we believe that you can work less but more efficiently to meet your tasks in 6 hours instead of 8 and reallocate these 2 hours only for you, for your passion, maybe for idleness and contemplation?!

Here are 5 reasons you should try idleness:  

Reach the Eureka moment 

When your mind is so full of Excel tables, and your to-do list is completely out of reach, you can’t think straight. In 1954, Albert Einstein developed the inspiring theory of combinatory plan or “the act of opening up one mental channel by dabbling in another”. It refers to the necessity to change perspectives and clear your mind by doing other activities (like sport, music, meditation…) to finally shout Eureka


Do nothing to stop doing things for nothing

Studies from Ernst & Young have shown that paradoxically, doing nothing increases productivity. Yearly performance could improve up to 8% for every 10 hours of vacation.

As the brain depends on downtimes, we recommend our employees to take a day off at least once a month in order to take the time to reflect. More, bigger, faster is the enemy of smarter and better.



Relieve stress to find inner peace

According to Deloitte, in 2020, 77% of professionals experienced employee burnout in their current job. Stress at work affects not only your mental health but your perception of your happiness. 

Matthieu Ricard, also known as the happiest man alive, encourages people to take breaks to meditate and reconnect with Nature. One of our consultants just came back from his sabbatical leave across America more revitalized than ever!

-> Documentary recommendation: From stress to happiness, with Matthieu Ricard.


Know idleness to spark happiness

In Denmark, where idleness is nothing to feel guilty about, the working weeks are the shortest in Europe: 37 hours with a minimum of 5 weeks of mandatory vacations. According to the UN Happiness Report, it is also the 2nd happiest country in the world and one of the most flourishing European economies. 

What if you reassess your work-life balance and take a bit more time for yourself? 



Use your time more wisely

Seneca used to say: “it is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it”. 

Bertrand Russell resumes Seneca's thoughts in his book In Praise of Idleness. He chooses to translate the Latin term Otium by ‘spare time’, claiming that idleness is not passive laziness but more a moment dedicated to an active search for wisdom and personal development.


Add “Doing nothing” to your to-do list and make sure to fulfill this task. It is nothing as boring as sorting emails; pinky swear. 

By Emma Jeanpierre

01 Aug, 2022