Last new year, I found myself at home watching The Great British Bake Off (or The Great British Baking Show, as it's known in the US). I had a lot of work to do. But after a busy year, I was exhausted. New book. New baby. Both were doing well.
I was not. I wanted to spend a week or two recouping some energy so that I could eventually get some work done. To recoup this energy, I wanted to do nothing. But nothing wasn't working. So I watched TV. It was as close to nothing as I could get without sitting there and staring at a wall for two weeks.
Did you know that if you underproof your bread before baking, it turns out too dense? And if you overproof it, it will grow too large. At least I think that's how it works. I’m not really sure, because I don’t like baking. What I found fascinating is that baking is less about ingredients and more about what lies between those ingredients: air. Which means: nothing. Nothing is actually an ingredient, I guess.
I want to write about how productivity is not about what you do, and instead about what you don't do. Doing nothing, it turns out, is an impossibility. Watching TV, that’s doing something. Staring at the wall, something. Sitting, something. Breathing, something. Writing about nothing, something.
So, instead of imparting words of wisdom, I will tell you this: if you need something to do, The Great British Bake Off is available on Netflix. If you haven't seen it before, watch it! You'll learn new words like "scrummy," a combination of scrumptious and yummy that Mary Berry, one of the show's judges, exclaims whenever she approves of a contestant's concoction.
Doing nothing is scrummy.