What I Took Away From: “Do Nothing” by Celeste Headlee

A book about our incapability to chill the fuck out.

1. Humans are not machines.

When did working all the time suddenly become the norm? According to Headlee, rather recently. For the most of human existence, we worked depending on the cycles of the seasons: during harvesting season, you’d have to work more, but in the winter, we didn’t work at all — because there was nothing to be worked on. Our days were reigned by day and night; when night fell, it was time to stop working.

2. We actually work less than we think we do.

We all have these friends who constantly tell us about their 60+ hour workweeks. Which probably is true, if you measure the time between beginning work in the morning and then shutting down your laptop at night.

  1. Which aspects of your work drain your energy?

3. Escape the cult of efficiency.

According to Headlee, tech isn’t to blame for our lost time. Instead, the culture at the workplace is to blame. A good day, for most people (myself included), equals a “productive day”. That’s what we’re taught in our jobs.

4. Be clear about your end goal.

What’s the end goal of your work? Certainly not getting a promotion or a salary raise — those are means to an end. Becoming a millionaire? Means to an end. Money in itself has no inherent value, unless you plan to use it. What are you going to use it for?

Entrepreneur | Athlete | Writer. Reflecting on life’s challenges and figuring out ways to overcome them.