Did you know we just passed Nothing Day? This self-proclaimed commemorative day is on January 16th every year in the US, and fittingly, usually goes by unnoticed. This “un-event” was self-declared in 1972 by columnist Harold Pullman Coffin, in part as a tongue-in-cheek response to the seemingly endless excuses for declared days such as National Ice Cream Day, Thank a Mailman Day, and Backwards Day. But Nothing Day is not without a purpose – people are often at a loss as to what to do when there’s “nothing” to do.
As a case in point, you might have seen a list flying around the internet which a parent had written for his persistently bored teenager. “You say you have ‘nothing’ to do? Try this: Mow the lawn, empty the dishwasher, read War and Peace, research colleges, write a letter to your grandparents…,” etc., etc., etc. The point is, there is no such thing as nothing to do, no such thing as boredom – it’s all about knowing your options, and having the right attitude. Like life in general. And it sure doesn’t apply only to teenagers.
The end of January presents a good opportunity for figuring out what to do when nothing in particular is on your plate. When the weather isn’t its most conducive, and no holidays are on the forefront, life might seem banal. But that’s the perfect time to fill the void – it’s not emptiness, it’s fortune.
Here are 10 ideas for what to do when there’s “nothing” to do. They represent the spectrum of things we delay because we’re procrastinating, and things we don’t end up doing even though they’re awesomely fun or interesting.
A. Tasks We Put Off
B. Fun or Interesting Things We Just Don’t Get To
See? There’s always plenty to do. Choose some tasks you keep procrastinating over, and others that you really want to do but don’t make the time. In the end, having nothing to do provides you the benefit of the freedom to choose something out of your routine. Happy end of January!