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Books That Teach Us How to do Nothing
It is, after all, an art to be mastered…
For those of us who don’t know what time, day or month it is during #quantinelife, I’m sure we’ve established by now that there’s only so much scrolling we can do. If anything, during this pandemic, what many of us have come to realise is – speaking for myself, that is – how bad we are at staying still and doing nothing. It feels like an art to be mastered, so here are five books that teach exactly that, the first baby step to get you started.
Wandering, getting lost and being at peace with your inner silence has no map, no same trodden path for everyone. Which is exactly what Roman Muradov teaches in On Doing Nothing. In 104 pages, Muradov explores the pleasures and possibilities in slowing down. How doing nothing can take many forms, from going on a walk without knowing where you will end up to embracing being in the moment. The pocketbook also has endearing illustrations. A perfect present to yourself.
How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell
“Nothing is harder to do these days than nothing,” says Jenny Odell. A book apt for staying inside and making the most of what you have. One of Amazon’s bestsellers, Odell tackles the social and digital environment we live in, which means we are constantly reacting. The digital blurb reads ‘Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the back-to-nature meditation we read so often, How to do Nothing is an action plan for thinking outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism.’ Well, sign me up.
Minimalism is at the heart of this book, Rachel Jonat focuses on the simple strategies to stop overthinking, over-scheduling and, frankly, over-living. In The Joy of Doing Nothing, the teachings are on how to focus on the important parts of life and how to create more time for yourself – a book worth reading right now.
Do Present: How To Give A Talk And Be Heard by Mark Shayle
A book that teaches you how to think on your feet, how to learn about stories (and not just tell them) and shows you how being present is a key tool in every aspect of our lives.
Calm the F**k Down (A No F*cks Given Guide) by Sarah Knight
The title says it all. Calm the f**k down and learn how to stop worrying about things that don’t matter. Stop worrying about how to spend your time when social distancing. Stop worrying about how many video calls are too many during your quarantine week. Learn to stop worrying about life in general. This is a goodie.