Doing Nothing is Better than Being Busy

An employee who has finished all her business-as-usual tasks is usually given something else by her boss to work on. Sometimes, it helps the company achieve more results. But, most of the time, it’s just to keep her busy—filing papers, reviewing her own work, or helping plan the company's outing months away.

Our government agencies are allotted budgets every year. Whenever they cannot spend the budget allotted to them, they spend it on nonsense road constructions. After all, their spending will be the basis for next year’s budget. (A great opportunity for corruption, huh? That’s why there are a lot of government projects here in the Philippines that do not make sense.)

Our education system is outdated. It was created during the industrial revolution where students were trained to become employees, factory workers, or part of the system. Learning is so much faster now with the help of the internet. Students nowadays have more time. What does the system do? Give them assignments and projects that do not make sense. Teach them more subjects that are not useful in today’s economy. Just to keep them busy.

Marketing departments usually come up with variations of old products that work just to release something new to the market. What if they focus their resources and their energies to creating something truly remarkable? To create a new breakthrough product? Not just a spinoff of something that already worked?

Even I am not immune from this. Sometimes, I write blog posts just for the sake of being busy. What if I focus my effort on something with more potential to change people’s lives and something that can reach more people like a book or a manifesto? Writing blog posts everyday is sometimes an escape for me from doing something much more meaningful.

What a waste.

Sometimes, it’s better to take a step back than to simply keep ourselves busy. Doing nothing is better than half-measures, quick fix, and half-hearted efforts.

It’s better to do nothing and focus our energies on something more lasting and remarkable than just doing something.