Niksen: Enjoy Life's Pauses

“Niksen” in Holland. “La Dolce Far Niente” in Italy. One cultural trend to watch out for in 2020 is the importance of doing nothing.

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A cultural change we believe in at Let’s Reset is taking time to switch off. And we mean really switch off. 

We live in a society that values productivity over everything else. When we are not at work, we are programmed to still find other "productive" uses of our time. When we clock out, we go to the gym to improve our fitness. We then do the washing in preparation for work tomorrow.  We check off everything on our to-do list, resisting the urge to just sit on the sofa with a cup of tea. If we do put our feet up, we can’t suppress the guilt. "I could be doing something productive right now!"

Or, our "downtime" involves technology. Scrolling through Instagram or binge watching Netflix still stimulates the brain. And then we wonder why we can’t sleep easily at night. The answer is under our noses: the devices glaring at us.

Without switching off technology, and the nagging voices in our heads, we cannot possibly perform at our best in the workplace. Society is stuck in a cycle of tiredness and over-stimulation.

Multiple sources predict that a trend for workplace culture in 2020 will be encouraging each other to do nothing. 

“Niksen” is a newly popular Dutch concept, similar to mindfulness, that requires us to be deliberately bored. Purposely avoiding productivity. While it may not sound very appealing, it is said to have an amazing impact on wellbeing. One example is staring out of the window. It apparently helps to reset and refocus our attention. 

Recent psychological studies show that boredom is a surprisingly fertile mental state. The Atlantic reports: 

"A British study [asked] subjects to complete a creative challenge (coming up with a list of alternative uses for a household item). One group of subjects did a boring activity first, while the others went straight to the creative task. Those whose boredom pumps had been primed were more prolific."

Mindfulness is about being present in the moment,"niksen" is about making time to just be. Let your mind wander.  Writer Olga Mecking charmingly describes it as “a thorough enjoyment of life’s pauses.”

So let's try to resist the Western culture that demands our attention 24/7. Practise turning off your screens and scheduling time to "niksen." Be actively passive for a while. Your family, friends, bosses and work-colleagues will love the reset you. 

Grace Proctor

Content Editor, Let's Reset.

Let's Reset

let’s reset accelerates business growth by shifting culture to shift performance We believe that the future driver of success is combining commercial delivery with people’s wellbeing and resilience to create new norms. The current coronavirus is challenging everyone to create a new norm and reset the workplace, we are helping businesses pivot their goals and create new cultures and ways of working that last forever not just the next 90 days
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