Doing Nothin’!

//Doing Nothin’!

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobble stones
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy

(The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) Simon and Garfunkel (1966))

These lyrics seem more important than ever. A recent article posted on theconversation.com  entitled “In praise of doing nothing” discusses the concept that our accelerated lives have led to even more acceleration. That is, acceleration begets acceleration so that were we mice on a treadmill, we would find ourselves running faster and faster and faster and even faster on the treadmill.

The article notes that in the 1950’s, scholars were worried that with the impending revolution in technology, we would find ourselves with all of this free time. Computers and other electronics etc. would do things that we once did by hand, freeing us up to enjoy life more. Wrong!

Our reality is that technology has sped up our lives. Rather than leaving “it” at the office, the office is our mobile phone and so we are “on call” 24/7/ 365.  We are barraged by e mails and telephone calls day and night. Whereas two decades ago, if we receive a letter, it was probably by snail mail or perhaps by fax. We would respond accordingly- by snail mail or fax, taking more time in doing so. Now- with the advent of e mail and texting, we communicate in this mode, attaching lengthy documents as .pdf’s. The pace has accelerated – we all expect almost immediate responses to our emails and texts. A response provided 1-2 days later is simply unacceptable.

The scientists describe this phenomenon as “the force of acceleration”:

We see this on factory floors, where “just-in-time” manufacturing demands maximum efficiency and the ability to nimbly respond to market forces, and in university classrooms, where computer software instructs teachers how to “move students quickly” through the material. Whether it’s in the grocery store or in the airport, procedures are implemented, for better or for worse, with one goal in mind: speed.

Noticeable acceleration began more than two centuries ago, during the Industrial Revolution. But this acceleration has itself … accelerated. Guided by neither logical objectives nor agreed-upon rationale, propelled by its own momentum, and encountering little resistance, acceleration seems to have begotten more acceleration, for the sake of acceleration. (Id. at page 2.)

The antidote is to unplug and do nothing. The article further notes:

Much research – and many spiritual and philosophical systems – suggest that detaching from daily concerns and spending time in simple reflection and contemplation are essential to health, sanity and personal growth.

 Similarly, to equate “doing nothing” with nonproductivity betrays a short-sighted understanding of productivity. In fact, psychological research suggests that doing nothing is essential for creativity and innovation, and a person’s seeming inactivity might actually cultivate new insights, inventions or melodies. (Id. at 3.)

Sometimes resolving a dispute requires that we NOT think about it and do nothing. Studies have shown that when we take our mind off something and do something else, we often get those “ah hah” moments where the light bulb goes off in our heads and we suddenly know the answer.

This article confirms that; sometimes doing nothin’ is the best way to solve a problem. It will allow our creative juices to flow just like Isaac Newton who discovered the law of gravity while sitting under an apple tree.

So, there is indeed some truth to the words of Paul Simon- slow down, we ARE movin’ too fast!

… Just something to think about.

 

 

 

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By | 2018-06-26T13:15:29+00:00 July 6th, 2018|Research|0 Comments

About the Author:

Phyllis Pollack
Phyllis G. Pollack, Esq. the principal of PGP Mediation (www.pgpmediation.com), has been a mediator in Los Angeles, California since 2000. She has conducted over 1700 mediations. As an attorney with more than 35 years experience, she utilizes her diverse background to resolve business, commercial, international trade, real estate, employment and lemon law disputes at both the state and federal trial and state appellate court levels. Currently, she is the in­coming chair of State Bar of California’s ADR Committee. She has served on the board of the California Dispute Resolution Council (CDRC) (2012­2013), is a past president and past treasurer of the SCMA Education Foundation (2011­2013) and a past president (2010) of the Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA). Ms. Pollack received her BA degree in sociology in 1973 from Newcomb College of Tulane University and her JD degree from Tulane University School of Law in 1977. She is an active member of both the Louisiana and California bars. Pollack believes that it is never too late to mediate a dispute and recommends mediation over litigation as it allows the parties to decide their own solutions.