Time to eulogise ‘slack’ ? Doing Nothing is Something to Think About!


If some or many of you consider that I am going off my rocker given the caption above, I don’t blame you. After all, in a culture that literally worships the hustle, equates busy with productivity and the associated chaos around it, who on earth will be actually according ‘ slack ‘ a pride of place?


A study called “Slack Time and Innovation” shows that even companies like Google, 3M and Wella encourage their workers to be innovative besides their strongly innovation-oriented work environments, by providing slack timeAs Paul GrahamY-Combinator founder, wrote: “Microsoft and Facebook both got started in January. At Harvard that is (or was) Reading Period, when students have no classes to attend because they’re supposed to be studying for finals.”



According to award-winning author and innovator Phil McKinneyslack time allows the brain to roam freely, decreases stress, provides an opportunity to refresh, and, ultimately, creates  a better work environment, making people happier and more productive.


Even our rest times are ‘ active rest ‘ at best. You stop work and your idea of rest is listening to a podcast or reading a book or playing the music of your choice, or watching a movie- all of which needs the mind to use its processing power. These are all fun diversions, a way to switch the mind’s tracks without completely stopping its journey. We are never at complete rest- it is almost as if complete rest makes us restless.


Taking time to escape isn’t just a luxury – it’s essential. No need to fill in the blank. Use that time(blank) to think, plan, dream. The Republic of Not Enough that we all are willing | unwilling citizens of, will never let you slack. Because we are deeply buried most of the time in our ledger of lack. It’s ironical to know that our best creations and inventions come during periods of slack not when the mind is furiously occupied(or pre occupied). So is it almost an aberration that there is a productivity tool used by many organisations around the world called Slack?  Probably not. Brilliantly counter intuitive branding.


Listen to the old bray of your heart. Not to the piercing shrill of your mind. “Sometimes sitting and doing nothing is the best thing you can do,” reminds Karen Salmansohn, best selling author of THINK HAPPY.
Only by taking time to think, dream, and plan are we able to discern the essential few from the trivial many in our lives.  


As I conclude I am reminded of a brilliant campaign line of the chocolate brand 5 Star– ” Eat 5 Star, Do Nothing “. Don’t dismiss it as a Sweet Nothing!


How about looking up from our ledger of lack and maintaining a  ledger of slack  ?

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