Here’s an interesting Twitter thread on how much time people in a range of small, non-industrial societies spent “doing nothing” in the 1970s and 80s. I liked the thread author’s comment:
Living in fast-paced, industrialized societies with constant access to entertainment, it’s easy to lose sight of the value of doing nothing.
It ties in with something I’d been thinking recently, about how the very thing that recharges my creative energy, and makes it actually possible for me to make progress with my writing (!), is precisely idleness. Being a passenger on long journeys, sitting around in tranquil surroundings, or even taking a long time to fall asleep. In these kinds of environments my ideas flourish. When I’m busy, they don’t. And when I spend almost every waking minute glued to a screen, they don’t either (unless the reason I’m glued to the screen is that I am actively brainstorming, outlining or writing) 🙂 That’s only one example, but I do think there’s a lot of benefit to slowing down and “doing nothing” for chunks of time, and that this is largely forgotten in our modern world.