Aug 31, 2021 07:00AM ● By Kalyn Wolf
“I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence, and the truth comes to me.” ~Albert Einstein
No one would ever call Albert Einstein or Steve Jobs lazy slouches, yet they both regularly took full advantage of doing “nothing” as a verb. Einstein accepted that many times the most valuable ideas occurred to him while doing nothing and enjoying his own “no time”. Jobs was a “famous bum”, known to build “doing nothing” into his days.
“The time Steve Jobs procrastinated and pondered the possibilities was time well spent letting more divergent ideas emerge,” Wharton professor Adam Grant told Business Insider when discussing Jobs’ long periods of aimless inactivity.
When we understand that the word “nothing” is a verb—as to “do nothing”—a whole world of possibilities opens up. A lot of writers, thinkers, artists and scientists consider the hours between 4 and 7:30 a.m. their “no” time. It’s the quietest time of day, when few people are communicating or asking for anything. A lot of people feel those early hours are “holy” time, hours of grace.
In the tech world, “no” time is a well-known thing. Whether it’s a moment, a minute, an hour or a camping weekend, spending time consciously away from tech, or “Tech No”, is taking a break dedicated to rebooting the brain.
These practices of doing nothing require temporary isolation, which is important for personal growth, socialization, creativity and problem solving.
So how do we isolate? Take a walk? Nope, this is doing something, and there is lots of sensory information coming at us. Camping is popular, but it’s hardly isolation. Some people feel recharged after a weekend of camping, but it’s not for everyone.
Is there an easy, effective way to regularly achieve temporary isolation? Try a float tank. Also known as sensory deprivation tanks, float tanks are perhaps the best environment for temporary isolation.
Maybe “no time” is the key to success that has been evading us. Many of us are overscheduled and overworked, unsure of when we last allowed ourselves to just “space out”. Be like Einstein and Jobs; add “doing nothing” to the week by visiting a float tank.
Kalyn Wolf is the owner of Cloud Nine Flotation & Relaxation Center, located at 2118 S. Avenida Planeta, in Tucson. Connect at 520-668-4017 or FloatTucson.com.