Friday, June 13, 2014

The Importance of Doing Nothing

do nothing, it is importantby Arjenne Louter, The Dutch PhD Coach:

PhD students are busy. Always, basically.

And if you are not actually doing something, than this whole PhD thing is in still in your head. 24/7.

Always the feeling that you need to do useful stuff, because, if you are not doing anything useful, what are you doing?

The guilt. And the thoughts: if I’m not productive, when will my PhD ever be finished? And what if I don’t finish? I will become this nobody… Doing nothing? Impossible! Most people are not sure how to do nothing anymore. And to be honest, PhD students have no clue.

Meditation comes closest to doing nothing. But, because mediation has a goal, you are still doing something. Doing nothing at all every once in a while is very, very important. Have a bit of distance from your PhD, from everything, no thing for a while.

The next exercise will help you to do just that: doing nothing, with no goal. What to do?

Take a chair and put it where there is no view, for instance in front of a white wall. Sit down, facing the wall. Make sure you don’t drink an hour before you start and use the bathroom. Take a timer, put it on 2 hours. Turn off everything: computer, phone. Make sure you won’t be disturbed, make sure there are no distractions. And: do nothing. Don’t sleep, don’t talk, don’t eat, don’t make any plans, don’t consider the next step in your PhD. Sit down and do nothing.

Usually: the results are stunning.

Please let me know what it did for you!

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