“Just Do It Nothing”
How can nothing be the answer to a problem? In school, especially in engineering, x always has some sort of a value associated with it. The pure thought of having the answer equal to nothing is unheard of. I guess technically that would called infinity, but cases like that are hard to find in the engineering world. Thus, how can nothing be the answer to every problem that we have today?
Gretchen Rubin, the author of the Happiness Project, reflects on the idea of “if you want to get yourself to do something, make the alternative to that task to do nothing.” This idea she stumbled upon in a book called Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. By following this simple model with nothing as an alternative, she found herself accomplishing tasks that she may have found cumbersome.
Much like Gretchen, it seems that I had been following these steps without actually knowing, when I choose the library over my room to do my work. It’s not like the two places are that much different, but I understand that my room is filled with many unnecessary distractions that would steer me away from my task. If everyone was to abide by this thought process, people’s efficiency levels would skyrocket. But as everyone knows, the ‘perfect engine’ has not been invented yet, which would enable to reach efficiency levels of 100%. By all means, I am not trying to compare humans to machines, but maybe procrastination serves another purpose.
Procrastination is always regarded as a terrible thing, that it’s the root of all problems being accomplished. In some instances, especially for me, procrastination is used as a way to relax or simply forget all the problems happening around me, for those brief few seconds. Sometime it is good just to get away from everything, and surf around the internet. Procrastination is not a crime; it simply needs to be monitored.
Even though the ‘Do Nothing’ approach appeals to me significantly I began to wonder why certain things are that much tougher to accomplish than others. I think a big part of it has to do with seeing the consequences behind your actions, much like the guiding principles behind utilitarianism. Even though you are not trying to put a dollar value behind the outcome of your decision, but by being able to see the future result of your failure to do that task might provide enough incentive to actually accomplish it. This is going to be a stretch, but for example: “ The failure to dust. By not dusting your apartment, you run the risk of having someone coming over and seeing how dirty or unorganized you are. Now assume that that person happens to be your boss. Upon seeing how dirty your apartment is, he realizes that your lack of cleanliness might show up in your work at the office. Going off of his gut feeling, he decides to not promote you as a precaution.”
I understand that the consequences of this scenario may have been stretched a little bit, but if one was to realize and understand the impact of one’s actions, then maybe things would get done right away. As far as those looking to have the option to choose, alternative number two might be their best, and that is simply to do nothing as a way to get things done.