I sent this Oblique Strategy to a friend who asked what he should do on his 3-week vacation.
The nerd that I am, I have a small library of books about doing nothing: Jenny Odell’s How To Do Nothing, Tom Hodgkinson’s How To Be Idle and The Idle Parent, Roman Muradov’s On Doing Nothing, Kenko’s Essays in Idleness, Robert Louis Stevenson’s An Apology for Idlers, etc.
Even though I feel an enormous laziness in me, I find after about one afternoon of doing nothing I’m ready to go back to work. My laziness is somehow connected to my productivity, like they’re two poles, keeping my life’s rope tight enough to walk on. (Tim Kreider: “I’m the most ambitious lazy person I know.”)
I used to laugh at my friend John T. Unger when he said “relaxing makes me tense,” but it’s making more sense as I get older. I prefer drawing to meditation and walking to sitting still.
It helps that I play for a living, so I don’t need much of a break from The Work.
What I’d really like is a break from work with a lowercase “w”: answering emails, scheduling interviews, making deals, etc.
But that stuff I can always blow off for an afternoon or two.
No vacation needed.