How To Do Absolutely Nothing®

An easy, fool proof, 12 step strategy to abandon all activities and resign to a new, better workable, modern day oblomowism, in order to be able to really indulge in your leisure time, instead of wasting it with stupid things.

1. Breathe. Stare. Let you mind wander. Those are the only three activities allowed under the program. If however, your wandering mind sticks longer than let’s say five seconds to something, watch out. You’re in the danger zone. Keep your mind wandering, and if that doesn’t work, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Count your breathings, from 0 tot 10, if you find out you’re at 24, start all over. If focusing on our breathing makes you paranoid, focus on your pinkie toe. Don’t try to stretch it. In case your wondering, this has nothing to do with meditation, but everything with doing absolutely nothing.

2. I agree, it is extremely hard to ignore the mobile telephone that’s sitting on the table. You turned it off earlier, thank you very much, because you understood that a working telephone, in the neighborhood of the person trying to do absolutely nothing, i.e. you, will cause challenges, to say the least. Disturbances, too. Distractions. Like staring at it? Go ahead, stare. You could turn it on now, that’s right, and see who’s called you, for no good reason, or who you could call, for no good reason, or send a completely redundant message, but then again... that’s right, then you’re... doing something, as opposed to absolutely nothing. Just try to cut all the bullshit. It’s Wednesday, for heaven’s sake!

3. The crying baby in the corner is your child. At least, that’s what the paternity test showed. Ignore it. I know this is difficult. Parents – good parents – have a tendency to eagerly respond to distress calls, especially from infants, but I’m sorry, we have to let it pass. The baby will survive. Trust me. Sooner or later he will go back to doing absolutely nothing again. Just like you.

4. A drink would be nice, indeed. For the mind, for the body. But a drink is also definitely a something. So, no.

5. HeloYou are talking. To me? Or to yourself? Why can’t you just sit still and shut your face for a moment? And stop tapping with your foot.

7. I agree, a crying baby that goes on for an hour and then, when you think he’s done, starts crying even louder – that can be discomforting. Where is the nanny, anyway? Your mother? No? In that case, maybe you should go and have a look. How to do absolutely nothing® can’t be liable for whatever. When you’re done, come back and start all over. Next time when you do the program, do it at work.

8. You’ve been musically depraved, lately. That is correct. During that horrendous 4 hour stopover in St. Louis you had nothing to listen to, because your iPod had died, and now you’re home and you’re really craving some old school Nirvana... Actually, you would like to go ahead and download their latest, or at least check it out, and so forth... Right? I’m sorry. No Arctic Monkeys for you, not anytime soon. You’re not even allowed to sing. The only thing you are allowed to do, under the program, is thinking of a song. Sing it in your head, if you really must, but no longer than 10 seconds, and no lipsyncing either. You may use your heartbeat and the noise of your breathing for background, and eh..., the streetcleaning truck down the street.

9. The streetcleaning truck, that’s right. So you totally forgot to move your car, right, because of the program we’re doing? Perfectly understandable. But now you got a ticket. Yes, you can go can go to court and plead not guilty. Or plead guilty and argue that there were special circumstances, like you trying to do nothing, and therefore you would like to pay half or, even better, nothing at all. Good luck with that.

10. What’s for dinner tonight? Is that what you’re thinking of? Well, I can’t answer that one for you, I’m not you’re personal chef or anything, but what I do know is that there is no getting up and checking out the fridge. As if there’s anything in there. I agree, it can get tiresome sometimes that we need to think and worry about dinner every single day. Even if you have enough money in the bank for a decent restaurant dinner every night, you will still have to figure out where to go, how to get there, at what time, with whom, what to order, etc. Hey, it’s the price of freedom. But now is not the time to worry about these matters. You have no freedom.

11. Sex? You're out of your mind. Sure, I understand that would be nice. But it is not part of the program. Also, if it were, there is no one around right now for you to have it with, then again, you know ways to get around that one. But: another no. Stop right there, put your pants back on and try to focus, for once. On anything except having sex. On doing nothing. That’s right.

12. Congratulations. You’re there. You have completed the programme. Well done! You can go to your loved ones now. And to the bathroom. Let’s have your creditcardnumber. Expiration date. Security number, on the back of the card. Thanks. You know where to find me.

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