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The Art of Doing Nothing: Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself

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The Art of Doing Nothing Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself A culture of overachievers, we make things happen--and happen fast. While rushing along, though, the days seem to get shorter and shorter. If only time would hold still, just a little bit, to let us savor life's simplest moments. . . . The Art of Doing Nothing will help to ease these beat-the-clock jitters. The st The Art of Doing Nothing Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself A culture of overachievers, we make things happen--and happen fast. While rushing along, though, the days seem to get shorter and shorter. If only time would hold still, just a little bit, to let us savor life's simplest moments. . . . The Art of Doing Nothing will help to ease these beat-the-clock jitters. The stress-reducing techniques described here require no time, no skill, no commitment. A practical guide to rest and relaxation, it ushers us into a world where "being" is more compelling than "doing." Beautifully illustrated with Erica Lennard's photographs, The Art of Doing Nothing gives us permission to celebrate idleness in all its mesmerizing forms. V�ronique Vienne's delightfully informative essays on the art of breathing, meditating, bathing, listening, waiting, and more offer useful tips on such skills as how to whistle, stay in the moment, take a nap, cure a cold, or watch the sun set over the horizon. Without further ado--and without feeling guilty--we learn to unwind, exhale, and, yes, stop and smell the roses. Like Ira Gershwin, you will be delighted to discover that you've got plenty of nothin', and that nothin's plenty for you.


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The Art of Doing Nothing Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself A culture of overachievers, we make things happen--and happen fast. While rushing along, though, the days seem to get shorter and shorter. If only time would hold still, just a little bit, to let us savor life's simplest moments. . . . The Art of Doing Nothing will help to ease these beat-the-clock jitters. The st The Art of Doing Nothing Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself A culture of overachievers, we make things happen--and happen fast. While rushing along, though, the days seem to get shorter and shorter. If only time would hold still, just a little bit, to let us savor life's simplest moments. . . . The Art of Doing Nothing will help to ease these beat-the-clock jitters. The stress-reducing techniques described here require no time, no skill, no commitment. A practical guide to rest and relaxation, it ushers us into a world where "being" is more compelling than "doing." Beautifully illustrated with Erica Lennard's photographs, The Art of Doing Nothing gives us permission to celebrate idleness in all its mesmerizing forms. V�ronique Vienne's delightfully informative essays on the art of breathing, meditating, bathing, listening, waiting, and more offer useful tips on such skills as how to whistle, stay in the moment, take a nap, cure a cold, or watch the sun set over the horizon. Without further ado--and without feeling guilty--we learn to unwind, exhale, and, yes, stop and smell the roses. Like Ira Gershwin, you will be delighted to discover that you've got plenty of nothin', and that nothin's plenty for you.

30 review for The Art of Doing Nothing: Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    My psychiatrist told me to read this book. I used it to pass the time on a two hour plane flight, and while I thought it was pleasant enough reading material I also found it a bit cutesy? However, I've been finding that the ideas in this book have stuck with me. I've been living in the moment a bit more than I've been wont to do. This book doesn't posit a carpe diem approach to life in the way, say, movies would have you go about it. No admonitions here claiming you should go bungee jumping or y My psychiatrist told me to read this book. I used it to pass the time on a two hour plane flight, and while I thought it was pleasant enough reading material I also found it a bit cutesy? However, I've been finding that the ideas in this book have stuck with me. I've been living in the moment a bit more than I've been wont to do. This book doesn't posit a carpe diem approach to life in the way, say, movies would have you go about it. No admonitions here claiming you should go bungee jumping or you're clearly an office drone wasting your life. Instead, living in the moment is reduced (or elevated!) to much simpler ideas; letting yourself contemplate a river going back, enjoying the peace and quiet of a nap, really tasting food as you eat it. Since reading this book I have been finding myself going about life a bit slower, and enjoying life more. Really, this book is about giving yourself a break. It sounds like the easiest thing in the world, but it often proves to be one of the most difficult. So yeah. My counselor was right.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katie R. Herring

    When I first picked this up I thought: 'is this book for real?' But I got it anyway, as it amounted to being less than 25 cents. This is a simple book for people who want to make their lives more simple. I am one of those people. In all honesty, stress and anxiety hit me more than it should. I try, I really do. This book was a push to try harder. I'm going to try and get into yoga when I get back to school, and swim regularly. Exercise is always recommended (confirmed in this book) and is somethi When I first picked this up I thought: 'is this book for real?' But I got it anyway, as it amounted to being less than 25 cents. This is a simple book for people who want to make their lives more simple. I am one of those people. In all honesty, stress and anxiety hit me more than it should. I try, I really do. This book was a push to try harder. I'm going to try and get into yoga when I get back to school, and swim regularly. Exercise is always recommended (confirmed in this book) and is something 'easy' to start. I'm glad I picked this up-- hopefully I do what I say I will-- Lord knows I need to.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    "A mysterious reflex, yawning seems to be connected with health: people who are acutely ill or severely psychotic hardly ever feel the need to wrench their faces open." "Make believe it's Friday afternoon- just for a few minutes." "Make room for mystery." "The precious minutes, hours, or days we invest anticipating an event - the return of a friend, the birth of a child, the purchase of a house, the last chapter of a book - make everything more memorable. Take the time to wait. In doing so you are "A mysterious reflex, yawning seems to be connected with health: people who are acutely ill or severely psychotic hardly ever feel the need to wrench their faces open." "Make believe it's Friday afternoon- just for a few minutes." "Make room for mystery." "The precious minutes, hours, or days we invest anticipating an event - the return of a friend, the birth of a child, the purchase of a house, the last chapter of a book - make everything more memorable. Take the time to wait. In doing so you are manufacturing the stuff of your souveniers. Dwaddle in the present tense. Give your future self a past to remember." Watch a sunset as the earth rising. To be enlightened is to know oneself and not run away.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Hall

    lovely little read 😍

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jigme505

    “You can change the way you feel about waiting simply by using the correct tense when you are stuck in a situation. No, your plane is not leaving in five hours - it will leave in five hours. Give yourself five hours of free time rather than five hours of waiting for your flight to depart” ~ This phrase struck a chord with me and I realized that a simple switch of attitude can make all the difference in how we feel about a situation. The book is definitely what I hoped it would be - a reminder t “You can change the way you feel about waiting simply by using the correct tense when you are stuck in a situation. No, your plane is not leaving in five hours - it will leave in five hours. Give yourself five hours of free time rather than five hours of waiting for your flight to depart” ~ This phrase struck a chord with me and I realized that a simple switch of attitude can make all the difference in how we feel about a situation. The book is definitely what I hoped it would be - a reminder to pause and take time to observe and evaluate ourselves.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joel

    The first chapter is entitled, The Art of Procratinating: In the Footsteps of Thoreau. I've been meaning to read this brief book, an extended essay with short chapters breathing, meditating, walking, napping, etc. One might think I have the first chapter down, but it's about intentional procrastination -- not neurotic procrastination. And here's a secret that you may have guessed: the book is not really about doing nothing, it's about making time to recharge, regenerate, relax and refresh. I am The first chapter is entitled, The Art of Procratinating: In the Footsteps of Thoreau. I've been meaning to read this brief book, an extended essay with short chapters breathing, meditating, walking, napping, etc. One might think I have the first chapter down, but it's about intentional procrastination -- not neurotic procrastination. And here's a secret that you may have guessed: the book is not really about doing nothing, it's about making time to recharge, regenerate, relax and refresh. I am a big fan of the concept, and am very poor at execution. Mindfulness is the thing of the moment. I'm all for this kind of self exploration and self help book. Erica Lennards photographs are quite lovely as well. Stop rushing around. Take an hour. Read The Art of Doing Nothing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Phair

    Given by a friend. Really enjoyed this quickly read little book. Very sensible advice on relaxation, meditation and being in the moment. Good hints and instruction for practical application as well as more philosophical and scientific discourse, Some nice humor, too. Just what I needed as mid winter takes its toll on my psyche.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I love this book. If Marie Kondo was born a French woman, she would've written this book. It subtly connects zen techniques with Parisian influence. The author is presenting advice, yet it feels like you are reading soft, flowing poetry as she introduces concepts that are so simple along side beautiful photography. One of my favorites!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    A rather unique little book. Not a book to rush through. It's one to reflect on what you've read and then put into practice. "Doing nothing doesn't mean being inactive, it means doing something that doesn't have a name. Practice doing "nothing," whether you are busy in the kitchen, talking on the phone, or running late for an appointment. You can make time for yourself by uncluttering your mind." The author gives 10 stress-reducing techniques to savor life's simplest moments. She calls them "the A rather unique little book. Not a book to rush through. It's one to reflect on what you've read and then put into practice. "Doing nothing doesn't mean being inactive, it means doing something that doesn't have a name. Practice doing "nothing," whether you are busy in the kitchen, talking on the phone, or running late for an appointment. You can make time for yourself by uncluttering your mind." The author gives 10 stress-reducing techniques to savor life's simplest moments. She calls them "the art of" procrastinating, breathing, meditating, lounging, yawning, napping, bathing, tasting, listening, and waiting. Enjoy!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    It is when we accept that we can't meditate that meditation starts to work. In this vulnerable state, we are ready to be enlightened." "Prepare for a spiritual change through meditation, breathing, listening and waiting."

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Do yourself a favor, pour a refreshing beverage, put your feet up and spend an hour (or less) to remind yourself how important it is to make some time for yourself! This volume offers great suggestions about how to spend some quality time.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aubrey P

    Cute quick read with great reminders to slow down

  13. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    Doing nothing means taking care of yourself. No guilt, just simply being.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kavitha Bharathiraja

    Listening to nothing is more intriguing than listening for something. When we share secrets, we share more than words.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carma

    A great short read making me really slow down and self assess.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nausheena

    I was falling asleep reading it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Any Length

    nice little book to learn about the simple pleasure of doing nothing.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Wall

    jeu d'sprit discussing doing nothing as a sport or past time. Interesting and justifiable to take an easy approach to life

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Amy

    Enjoyed this, especially the "How to watch a Sunset" on page 89

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kylene Jones

    Sweet and easy book to read. Lots of common sense but a good reminder to take care or our minds and bodies.

  21. 4 out of 5

    K LF

    Had a daytime with quotes from this book

  22. 4 out of 5

    EngIIrockz

    OK, but not compelling. The nuggets that helped me consider my wellness practice didn't come around often enough.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kivrin Engle

    I first read this book a few years ago, while staying in a summer resort cabin. Each of the cabins had a copy. At the time, I remember enjoying it and perhaps even doing one or two of the relaxation exercises. It had been a long time since I read it, so I picked it up during a recent library book sale. It may be the changes I've been through since first reading it, but I wasn't inspired at all by it this time around. It's a very simplistic book, really. It could be a series of articles for a "wo I first read this book a few years ago, while staying in a summer resort cabin. Each of the cabins had a copy. At the time, I remember enjoying it and perhaps even doing one or two of the relaxation exercises. It had been a long time since I read it, so I picked it up during a recent library book sale. It may be the changes I've been through since first reading it, but I wasn't inspired at all by it this time around. It's a very simplistic book, really. It could be a series of articles for a "women's magazine". Nonetheless, if you are a busy, busy person, and you find yourself on vacation, and this book is in your hotel, or cabin, do take an hour to breeze though it. I think I'll take it to my mother's summer cottage later on this summer and leave it on the coffee table. It will be perfect there.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    I read this book while on vacation in Hope Valley, CA. I liked that each chapter was short and focused on one thing (breathing, yawning, napping, waiting...) It was a perfect read for the hammocks at the Sierra resort we were staying. I especially liked the chapter on waiting because it gave me a present mindfulness and helped me enjoy our vacation. After reading it, I went back and looked at the pictures, taking the time to take each one in an reflect on them. It stretched out my evening adding I read this book while on vacation in Hope Valley, CA. I liked that each chapter was short and focused on one thing (breathing, yawning, napping, waiting...) It was a perfect read for the hammocks at the Sierra resort we were staying. I especially liked the chapter on waiting because it gave me a present mindfulness and helped me enjoy our vacation. After reading it, I went back and looked at the pictures, taking the time to take each one in an reflect on them. It stretched out my evening adding to my relaxation even more. I was thankful that this was in our cabin.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Samar Hankir

    I have finally found the book of my dreams! "The art of doing nothing" is amazing, I love everything about it, how it has ideas, and fun ways to do things such as the whistling 101, it's fun to read and keeps your soul entertained with the all of the beautiful pictures. Honestly I think that if I'd ever have another favorite book it would be by Veronique Vienne and Erica Lennard, they did a wonderful job by just publishing "The art of doing nothing".

  26. 4 out of 5

    Madonna Analla

    This book calmed me down a lot and helped me appreciate the slow, simple way of moving through my day. It also gave me permission to lounge for a long time and procrastinate. Which I normally do but now I don't have the guilt associated with it. It also helped be more mindful while doing things like eating, drinking, showering, waiting. It is a quick read and one that I keep handy to review when things get hectic and I get stressed. It helps me refocus.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ben McC

    The topics covered in this book are often explained in fairly simplistic terms, and once in a while a little too much new-age silliness is tossed in. However, I would recommend that everyone read this book if only for the section on the art of napping. I read this book when I was 15 and in all honesty, the art of napping is something that I have used in my life, almost daily, ever since.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

    It's all about the small pleasures, isn't it? And this books delves into those pleasures, mixing a zen artistry (which includes some beautiful photos) with a scientific justification for those of us who need a justification to do nothing. As if... A quick and worthwhile read - I'm feeling more relaxed already.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christine Rowlands

    I found this book randomly in a secondhand bookstore, and it now lives on the shelf under my coffee table. Whenever I need to chill, I pull it out, read a chapter or so, and try to put its tips into action ... or nothingness. There's something about the writing style that calms me right down, and it always reminds me that the world looks pretty good from a reclining position.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Michael Robinson

    In today's American cultural where multitasking and constant connectivity are chic and even expected, this book offers a subversive alternative. For the readers like me who are looking for the exit off today's fast paced highway of life, this book points the way to that exit. Easy to read and delightfully relaxing. I can't recommend this book enough. I am reading it now for the second time.

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