Extra actionable lessons from the book: “How to do nothing - Resisting the Attention Economy” By Jenny Odell - Mentorist App


When I looked at the book “How to do nothing” by Jenny Odell, I was really moved by the title. 

There was a quote that stood out for me and that was: 

“Our very idea of productivity is premised on the idea of producing something new, whereas we do not tend to see maintenance and care as productive in the same way.”

At the end of 2020, I felt the need to really stop everything I was doing (or let me rather say pause) so I could reflect and re-define where I was and where I needed to go. The COVID-19 pandemic was and still continues to exist amongst us and I was confronted with many changes I had to make based on questions I had to ask myself. A Lot of us who are in business had to do the same because ALL of us have been affected in some way and it has brought about tough times for most and great times for some who happened to be on the right side of the trend. A Lot of people in business will never return and that’s just how life goes. 

I had to make a decision to really stop and reflect. In that process I was able to see things I hadn’t seen before, I was able to see how many resources I had at my disposal that I wasn’t aware of and I was able to be grateful for what I had in my life. I always used to think that movement was the most scary thing to do and what always had to be done but the scariest thing truly is inaction. The reason inaction is scary is because inertia wants us to keep going and constantly doing that all we’re doing is running a loop.

It is said that 95% of our thoughts are similar to the thoughts we had the previous day. This coupled with the fact that we are creatures of habit, states that we tend to do the same things daily without being aware of this. It is also stated in Psychology that most adults don’t learn anything new after age 25 unless they experience a traumatic experience (death, breakup, job loss, health scare etc) which means that we hardly ever see the loop that our lives trap us in. 

This is what the movie The Matrix was secretly trying to show us by telling us that our lives are patterns of repetition and most of life is an illusion put in front of our eyes until you’re able to disrupt that pattern. If you STILL haven’t seen it, please do yourself a favour and watch it. 

Disrupt the pattern - My advice

I don’t know where you find yourself reading this today, but I want you to know that there is no umbrella advice that anyone can give you to solve your problems. You have to be able to know the problem and face it head on. Waiting for things to happen will never make them happen but while you’re doing the things you’re doing, it is important to take time to stop, assess and refocus your energies. Disrupt the pattern as many times as you possibly can to give your mind new information to work with. This means going out of your routines, changing how you do things, travel, change your scenery but make sure you’re always adding something new to your rhythm. This will allow you to open up yourself to new opportunities and new possibilities that you didn't know existed. 

Self-care is crucial and never let people make you feel bad about being able to stop and take time out from all the responsibilities of life. Always remember that you’re not just a tool to be used but an alive human being whose health and wellbeing must be of top priority to you. Sometimes, doing nothing is also a form of action, especially in this world that is doing all that it can to rob your attention from you!


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