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Do Nothing for Two Minutes

Hey – you know what you need?

A break.

That’s why this site is totally worth checking out:

Do Nothing for Two Minutes

The premise is pretty hilariously simple — you’ll get it as soon as you check out the site. Basically, you’re forced to take a two minute break, listening to the crashing of waves while you do. If you touch your keyboard during those two minutes, you ‘fail.’

Many of us spends our days glued to the computer. We end up with sore backs and wrists, and over-agitated brains. I know it can sometimes feel impossible to stop when your inner-critic is urging you to keep writing/reading/producing, but it’s not necessarily the best way to get anything done. Taking a micro-break, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes, can really help with productivity.

Sitting still for a couple of minutes is also a good way to curb anxiety. If your brain is racing around in a panic, it’s really the only way to get it to settle down. Trying to focus on the present — a practice called mindfulness — is a really easy way to brings things into perspective. Most anxiety comes on when the brain goes racing off into worst-case-scenario-land. Before you know it, that little issue you’re having trouble with will morph into an impossibly insurmountable issue, and in no time you’ll be imaging the worst-case-scenario. FAIL, indeed.

So: if you’re practicing mindfulness, your task is to focus on the present moment. If that’s hard, focus on something more concrete than ‘nothing’. Focus on your breath. If you’re walking, try focussing on the feeling of your feet on the ground. If you’re washing dishes, you want to concentrate on the smell of the soap, the sound of the water, the feeling in your hands. It sounds simple, but it’s really a very powerful tool.

After all, the only thing we’ve got is the present. The past and the future don’t actually EXIST. The the only thing that is real and tangible is the present. The rest of us is made up in our minds — it’s the stuff we remember from the past, and the stuff we anticipate in the future. The only REAL stuff, for me right now, is the hard table top, the music in the background, the coffee in my cup, the other people in this room, etc etc. Staying focused on that stuff, even just for a couple minutes, can help reign in our anxiety-inclined imaginations.

If you can manage it at all today, give yourself a couple minutes in which to do nothing. Your brain will thank you for it.

Posted in SGS Blog 2010-2011, Uncategorized

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