On The Joy of Not Doing Anything

It’s summer in Madrid. The city is empty, as shops close for the month of August and families flock to the beach to escape the heat.

It’s my favorite time in the Spanish capital. It’s the perfect time to grab a spot on a terrace, eat at my favorite restaurant, and enjoy doing nothing.

Over the last few years I have realized that spending a day or two doing nothing is as vital to being productive as keeping a to-do list.

I need to sit by the pool and read a book. I need to lazily swing on a hammock until I fall asleep. I need to just wander around the streets, with no clear motive in mind.

Summer holidays in August are a very European tradition. Entire countries shut down and it’s not uncommon to go to the bakery only to find a sign that they are closed until September.

While I used to find this phenomenon annoying, today I relish this time of being lazy.

I also become lazy with my art. Instead of rushing to complete projects, I let my ideas simmer. I make art when I feel inspired. I let myself explore new projects. I don’t worry if it fails or if I give up after a few days. Creativity needs a break, just as much as we need a break from work.

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