Niksen – can you “do nothing”?

niksen – can you “do nothing”?
Picture of Alison Relf

Alison Relf

Managing Director, Taylor Alden

Niksen – Not sure about fads but this one is good! Can you “do nothing”?

Busy doing nothing! 

Walking the dog at 7am every morning (yes, I found the wet weather gear from somewhere and have genuine boot room envy!) gives me time to think about the day ahead and what I need to do with it and how and when. But, you know, it never goes to plan does it? Does anyone’s day go exactly the way they plan it; whenever they plan it?

So listening to the radio and real people chatting (WFH means you don’t hear many “chewing the cud” chats doesn’t it?), at the old-fashioned “lunchtime” radio slot with my sustenance (the other hours have to be sort-of background lift elevator, classical music as we don’t want to hear the Corona/political stuff all the time), I happened across Niksen!

Google it! Niksen is a Dutch verb which means “doing nothing”. It has been explored as a method to combat work-related health problems such as stress and burnout.  It reminded me of an old old song by Bing Crosby – so I looked up the lyrics of “Busy doing nothing”) and they are so relevant today!

In essence, it tells us to take a little time (five minutes, ten minutes, one hour, one day) to do NOTHING! This helps to calm our mind and body and ensures we are “in the moment” enjoying peace and our surroundings.  It goes without saying that there’s a lot of useful talk around mental health and coping with stress while changing our working and living habits at the moment so I pricked my ears up thinking – how do you do nothing?? The programme asserted that we are all really bad at it! If you have a spare ten minutes, do you shove the bed sheets in the washing machine, call your mate who you haven’t spoken to in ages, do your banking, grab a bowl of cornflakes, plan your Christmas shopping, or dream about a holiday in 2023……….blah blah?

Can you do nothing? Do you feel guilty? Do you even know what doing nothing means?  I did consider whether this was a good subject to bring up on a work platform – but that’s the point! Maybe I’ll spend ten minutes looking at the birds enjoying the new feeders I invested in!

Olga Mecking has even written an entire book on Niksen!