Busy Doing Nothing

Mark Parenting, Popular 13 Comments

I’m good at doing nothing. Really good. I’m not blowing my own trumpet, that would be doing something, and my expertise is definitely in doing nothing.

In its purest form I’m a master. I can sit on the sofa without distraction and do absolutely nothing for hours.

When Janet asks what I’m thinking,

“Nothing”, is an honest reply.

It’s in my DNA and I’ve passed it on to the boys.

“What did you do at school?”

“Nothing”

“What did you eat for lunch?”

“Nothing”

“Why’s Luca got an arrow suckered to his forehead, what have you done?”

“Nothing”

There may not be degrees in nothing, if there were I’d have a BA Honours in Further Nothingness, but I’ve discovered there are degrees OF nothing.

At one end of the scale is nothing, but at the other end there is ‘busy doing nothing’. They’re not the same. No really, they’re not!

Take yesterday for example, I had a really busy morning.

What did I do? Well I sat on the toilet and got distracted by Twitter.

I know how late someone’s supermarket delivery was. I know how little sleep numerous parents had. I chuckled at the photo of a cat with a lollipop stuck to its fur. But what did I really achieve? Nothing.

I’ll be honest, I don’t even know if I went to the toilet. I’d been sat there so long I couldn’t remember if I did or didn’t?

I decided to sort the laundry. MIA was playing on the radio, I love MIA. Obviously I had to listen to a few of her songs on YouTube, and then visit Wikipedia to see if she’d released any new material since her last album. I eventually found a discography and as it turned out, nothing.

Oh well, time for a brew.

By now I’d forgotten why I was upstairs so I assumed it was to tidy up. And here is another tool for being busy doing nothing. Lists!

So I wrote a list of where needed tidying. It was a long list. So long that it needed rewriting in the order it should be tackled. Yep, I’d listed the rooms of the house, in order of messiness. What had I tidied? Nothing.

That called for another brew.

The dishes needed washing. I put them in to soak.

The clothes needed hanging out. Would it rain? Maybe. Shall I risk it? I’ll put the kettle on and have a think. What had I done? Nothing.

Wow, have you seen the time? No point starting anything now, I have to pick Luca up in half an hour. Just enough time for a quick game of Dots.

And that was my morning. Three hours. Where had the time gone, I appear to have achieved nothing?

But it doesn’t end there. Janet would be home later, and bring with her the inevitable question,

“How was your day, what have you done?”

And I’ll stop, think, and realise there’s only one word to explain what I’d done with my day. One simple word …

“Productive.”

Comments 13

  1. Oh, I know this well! Having just embarked on a freelance career I’ve realised that my focus and time management is dreadful. Especially if Twitter or Facebook tap me on the shoulder. Must get better at doing … SOMEthing.

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  2. You are so funny! I can totally relate, I do a lot of “nothings” too, especially when I’m in front of my laptop… “Nothing” is a dangerous past time indeed… Must absolutely get up now…

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      Did you see the cat too? The look on that poor boys face! I was only online to … do something … I can’t remember what, I got distracted.

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  3. I can absolutely relate to this! Then again I am a professional idler and have a degree in procrastination. Yet my day full of nothings are most indignant that they’re erm…… productive.

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