Advice on how to switch off―no thoughts of your to-do list―from a man who has devoted his career to the idyllic art of idling.
By Tom Hodgkinson
One morning, nearly 20 years ago, I was lying in bed. It was late. I was supposed to be working, but I seemed glued to the mattress. I hated myself for my laziness. And then, by chance, I picked up a collection of writings by Dr. Samuel Johnson, the 18th-century wit and the compiler of the first comprehensive English dictionary. In the book were excerpts from a weekly column he had written called The Idler, in which the great man celebrated idleness as an aspiration, writing in 1758, “Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler.” This was an epiphany for me. Idleness, it seemed, was not bad. It was noble. It was excessive busyness that caused all the problems!