A gift certificate for a plant based cooking class makes a great father's day gift!

When Is Nothing Something?

8 April 2024

How's your attention span? Mine is pathetic these days.  Of course, I blame my “smart” phone, social media, the internet, the busy-ness of Westchester life, sugary foods...

I know from the productivity class I took [online] through the local library that there is no such thing as multi-tasking, only switch-tasking.  This means that when we try to do several things at once, we do them all badly; it's NOT more efficient. Like having your computer open with a gazillion windows…it's just not going to work very well. Still, I try!

It's difficult for me to do one thing at a time, never mind nothing at all. But when I started reading, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, I became engrossed. I'm only 10% in, but I've already gleaned some insights:

(1) our attention - often engulfed by the busy-ness of life and, overwhelmingly, by digital distraction - might be better focused on "biological and cultural ecosystems where we forge meaningful identities, both individual and collective”.

My talented friend and colleague, Julienne Ryan, talks about this topic in her new book, The Learned-It-In Queens Communications Playbook.  "Front stoop moments" are where it's at!

(2) in a society that seems to demand personal branding and stubborn identity, we can be the opposite: "an unstable, shapeshifting thing determined by interactions with others and with different kinds of places.”

We can have our identity, but we also have to be willing to adapt and change as we experience and learn. I am not the same person I was ten years ago, or even yesterday. I'm humble enough to know that I don't know everything, and curious enough to want to learn more. Today, we seem so focused on productivity and “ticking the box” that we often forget the value of mindfulness, creativity and slow consideration.

In a real life example, our current industrial farming system - ever intent on increasing production through the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, machinery and monocrops - seems destined for disaster, as depleted soil and lack of biodiversity destroy a delicately balanced ecosystem. I'm no farmer, but I know a few, and I'm aware that we need to be more thoughtful about our productivity and work with the living environment to create sustainable farmland that can withstand the climate change effects already in motion (see my blog on Unintended Consequences).

These ideas remind me [again!] of The Biggest Little Farm [seriously, if you haven't watched it yet, do it now]. One of nature's best features is resilience, which demands interaction and adaptation. For humans, the prerequisite to this is attention. In order to pay attention, we really need to stop everything else and - you guessed it - do nothing!

Contact Green Bites

Let's Talk

I'll get back to you soon to discuss your needs.

Give us a call
Send us an email