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Could doing less mean you enjoy life more?

“I start to think, and then I sink into the paper like I was ink. When I’m writing I’m trapped in between the line. I escape when I finish the rhyme.”

Rakim – I Know You Got Soul – 1987

The above is one of the greatest lines in Hip-Hop history, in my opinion.
And the opening part of it, stopping to think, is the subject of today’s article.
In the hectic world of estate agency, finding the time to stop and think is difficult, and sometimes it feels nearly impossible.
The social media lifestyle gurus encourage us all to do more, be more, have more.
But I feel they’re missing an important point while they leap into ice baths, Go-Pro their ultra-marathons and create highlight reels that ain’t real.
And that is this – we could all benefit from occasionally doing nothing and simply thinking more.

‘Finkin’ Friday.’

When was the last time you allowed yourself to think without distractions?
I block out an hour every Friday to switch everything off and think.
Not about anything set beforehand, but just letting my mind wander.
I’ve been doing this for a while. The benefits are that because it is scheduled, it gets done. I give myself permission to think.
I have a pen and paper handy, and I just sit there – thinking. It’s harder than it sounds.
The idea that changed the course of my family’s life came about while I was doing nothing apart from sitting on a sun lounger staring at the Med.
It was around seven days into a ten-day holiday in 2019 – and it came when I was finally letting go and switching off, getting comfortable doing sweet FA.
Fast forward five years, and I’m better off financially than I ever imagined. I work with some incredible people and am in a position where I have the luxury of saying ‘no’ to many things.
I’ve introduced ‘Finkin’ Friday’ to my VA, Carmin. She does it every week, too.
It might sound a little mad to pay someone to literally do nothing, but it has led to her coming up with some interesting ideas we will pursue.
Scientific studies show that taking the time and making space to think are good for mental and physical health and even productivity.
But when was the last time (if ever) you treated yourself to doing nothing?

Introducing Niksen

Niksen is a Dutch word that means ‘to do nothing or deliberately do something without any purpose or goal of productivity’.
It’s becoming increasingly popular as levels of stress, anxiety and burnout soar.
As someone with ADHD, I know how burnout can knock the absolute stuffing out of someone.
I’ve had it several times and now recognise the tell-tale signs that burnout is on its way to visit me.
I’ve tried the Niksen approach several times recently. It dawned on me that I was timing my dog walks – I’m pretty sure my dog isn’t keeping a tab of her step count as we stroll along the beach, unlike I was in the habit of doing.
I’m also encouraging my wife to practice Niksen on the weekends, especially when she may have a few jobs around the home that she wants me to do.

Final Thoughts

Asad Riaz, one of the wisest people I’ve met in estate agency, told me this pearl of wisdom a few months back.
“As the agency/company/group leader, your job is to think.”
Consider that statement for a moment. Imagine what taking the time to think could do for your agency.
It could highlight that you’re focussing on the wrong things.
It may help you plot where you REALLY want your business/career to go.
Or would your team benefit from thinking sessions?
It might highlight how spending time on social media leaves you empty and flat. (This was a realisation I had during a Friday think-up.)
It could even challenge the status quo/curse of ‘we’ve always done it this way.’?
Whatever you do, my advice is not to feel guilty, lazy, or unproductive about taking time out just to be. Remember, you’re not a walking to-do list.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate your time and attention.


PS: Want to know more about doing less? I found this article about Niksen very interesting:

PPS: Why is it dubbed Finkin’ Friday? Well, it happens on Friday, and it involved thinking. The ‘finkin’ part comes from a rather pompous client I had when I set out in estate agency content (pre-sun lounger moment) sneeringly correcting my speech, saying, ‘I think you mean thinking not finkin’.’ If only he said that to me now, I’m in a position to respond, ‘How about you F*ck 0ff, rather than thuck orf.’ And all because I sat thinking on a sun lounger.

Sound interesting?

Book in a 20-minute chat with Jerry to find out more.

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