Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing

lao tzu

I have been studying Chinese (Mandarin) for a few years, so it is natural that I came across a few Chinese sayings and knowledge, for example, Confucius.

Most recently I have heard the phrase "doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing" which lead me to reflect a little bit about my day. Specifically how often I found myself obsessively scrolling through social media trying to find content to consume.

Whenever I have a break from work or study I spend more time looking for content to consume, or searching for something to do, than in practice doing something. A practical example is me scrolling through Youtube trying to find a video to watch while I eat. In practice, I spend time being busy doing nothing, while I could just do nothing and the result would be the same, because often I just give up and realize there is nothing to entertain me at that time, for whatever reason.

During Lao Tzu's time he obviously did not have access to the internet, but he was thinking ahead of his time. Nowadays it is a known fact that excess usage of social media is detrimental to your attention span and mental health. In the 21st century doing nothing is, more than ever before, better than being busy doing nothing.

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