The productive charm of doing nothing

In the past, leisure time was one of the most fundamental and treasured everyday activities. For the Greeks, leisure didn’t mean “doing nothing,” on the contrary, it was packed with activities and highly valued. Like it or not, these days leisure carries a negative connotation, as time has become a scarce commodity. We try to take advantage of every minute in the day to be productive and get everything done. We seem to have forgotten how to give ourselves a few moments of contemplation each day, time to reflect, to discover the meaning of our actions and to think of new ways of living and enjoying our time..

In the book Autopilot: The Art and Science of Doing Nothing, author Andrew Smart scientifically explains that the brain is much more active when we are resting. He also contends that multitasking is actually harmful to the brain. Smart concludes that being creative requires having moments of downtime, when the mind can relax and wander freely. To connect with more pleasant concerns, all it takes is allowing ourselves a moment of idleness, something that you can expect to enjoy calmly during this flight.

So what has happened over the past few decades that has given “free time” such a bad name? Technology, freeways, the Internet, automation and social networks were supposed to give us more spare time to enjoy life. But at the end of the day, the time we have gained is being reinvested in doing more and demanding more of ourselves. Let’s just stop!! If we manage to rediscover the importance and value of doing nothing as an activity that is as essential to life as the air that we breathe, then we will be able to return to feeling more fulfilled and satisfied with our lives. We need to understand that “wasting time” actually gives us time to do better things, to get in touch with our feelings, to get together with friends, to create new things, to find ourselves and nurture our souls.

A good vacation, a dream trip or a journey to reconnect with a loved one can be a terrific opportunity to relax and enjoy our free time; it can provide a space for reflection and for nurturing big ideas. That’s why we talk about returning to work “with our batteries recharged” after spending some quality time off, the kind of break that lets us disconnect from our everyday routines and find inspiration. At LAN, we believe in the value of leisure time and in the possibility of allowing ourselves a chance to contemplate the world and ourselves. We take great pains to help our passengers dream and create, inspired by the experiences they enjoy in the different destinations we serve around the world.

I invite you to take advantage of this flight as an opportunity to relax and, hopefully, to think about nothing at all.


Ignacio Cueto Plaza
CEO LAN Airlines

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