The Opposite of Doing

25/3/2013 |






One week to go for my “60 Minutes” experiment.  I am still working hard on not working hard.  And I am putting my life and soul into my hour of work.  And I’m really behind on stuff that needs to be done, but that’s for another blog post.

Here’s one thing I’ve confirmed this month.  It’s a thing that I already knew: I beat myself up with my drive to make things happen, often unnecessarily.  I knew this already for sure, but this month has brought this truth into stark focus.  My drive, my energy, my guilt when things don’t get done and my general erring on the side of freneticism is perhaps one of my biggest assets in life, helping me bring things to life rather than giving up.  It’s also a complete curse for every ounce of it being a blessing.

Well, this month, I’ve had to ride against it.  I’ve just had to slow down.  And it’s turned out to be a lovely thing.

For the first three weeks, I have spent most of my time pottering around, catching up on lots of house stuff I needed to do and I’ve engaged in some gentle leisure pursuits like meeting people for coffee.  But I’ve spent all that time wondering why I’m not jumping out of planes or having radical, fast-paced fun like you see in adverts and films.  And now I’ve realised that I don’t need to.  It’s OK to slow down.

I’ve been grappling with the definition of work all through the month: what does work really mean? What would be the opposite of work? “fun”?  “life”?

Perhaps that’s the wrong question.  Perhaps it’s best to ask what’s the opposite of “doing”.  And whilst “not doing” is probably what springs to mind first, I think the answer is more subtle than that, and it’s more about living in the moment rather than in the past or the future.

The opposite of “doing” is “being”.


60 Minutes-01Like this? Try these

If you’re struggling to get things done, try one of our time management workshops

Read about Graham’s other 2013 Experiments, Email Friday and The Dice Man

US boss berates French for ‘three-hour’ working day – Telegraph




  1. Elloa

    Hi Graham,

    I think it’s brilliant that you’ve had the guts to go against the grain of what you’re used to, and what our society dictates we do – all in the name of exploring productivity, mind – and most of all that you stuck with it even while it was uncomfortable. As you go into your next experiment, I’m sure this will serve you well!

    Look forward to reading more of the journey.


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