In this week’s episode, you and I are going to have a conversation about the one thing you need to do this week. And there’s a reason why you and I are going to talk about this today, and it’s because I know you need to hear this. We are to discuss the importance of learning the art of doing nothing.

You probably think that I have gone mad because I am always talking about how to be more productive, but there is a method to my madness! I promise you! It is a message I need to hear and the message everybody needs to hear right now. Stress levels are so high because society has taught us that we need to be switched on always.

The theme of this episode is about cutting yourself a break and to breathe. We are always running from one thing to the next, and it’s time to find 30 minutes this week to switch off. I assure you that when you step back into being productive, creative, or being that person life demands you to show up as, and you will be even more remarkable. You will have more energy, be more creative, and have more focus and clarity. You will start to recognise the things that truly matter. So, I dare you to find 30 minutes this week where you do nothing. It is time to stop, do nothing, and take a breath of life.

In this Episode

1:10 – Introduction
6:49 – Doing nothing VS Always doing something
11:51 – Your Phone
13:21 – FakeAgram
15:47 –  Living up to impossible standard
17:05 – You can say NO, you know
20:46 – Your energy and your time
23:42 – what does doing nothing look like for you


Putting yourself first is important because it allows you to prioritize your own needs and well-being, which in turn can help you be more productive, creative, and fulfilled in all areas of your life. By taking care of yourself first, you are better equipped to care for others and contribute positively to the world around you.



Visit the A Voice and Beyond Youtube channel to watch back the video replay of this guest interview or to see my welcome video.

Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  00:00

Hi. It’s Marissa Lee here. And I’m so excited to be sharing today solo round episode with you. Whether you’re a member of the voice community, or beyond your voice is your unique gift. And my mission, which has been inspired by my own personal and professional journey is to empower you to share your gift with others. Now is the time for you to discover your voice in life, develop a positive mindset, and become the best and most authentic version of yourself to create greater impact. Ultimately, you can take charge, and you can become the director of your own life. It’s time for you to live your best ally. It’s time now, for a voice and beyond. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  01:10

You and I, we are going to have a conversation about the one thing that you need to do this week. Just one thing, I’m not asking for the world. And there’s a reason why you and I are going to talk about this today. And it’s because I know you need to hear this. I need to hear it. You need to do this one thing just as much as I do. And I promise you that you are going to get to choose when you do it. The thing that you and I are going to find time to do this week is to do nothing. You, my friend are going to do nothing. Say what? Wait a minute, you’re probably thinking, Has she lost her mind? Did she just say to do nothing. But, but that goes against everything that she usually tells me to do. Okay, you probably think that I have gone mad, because I’m always talking about how to be more productive, about how to stop procrastinating, how to achieve your goals, and how to be more intentional, and how to rise above the chaos, yada Yasha yet, but look, there’s always chaos in our lives. And there’s always so much more that we can do in our lives. But people, it’s okay. There is method to my madness, I promise you. I know some of you have been working so hard lately, just as I have, like, you’ve been working on that project or trying to get that job promotion. Or you’re spending your time racing around after the kids are doing stuff for everyone else and you feel burnt out, you’re maxed out and you’re stressed out. You’re probably like you have run out of steam, and you feel it’s a struggle to get the work done, to be creative, to be productive, and to just simply get through the day without energy. So you know what? You owe it to yourself to find some time in your week, this week to do absolutely nothing. In this episode, I’m going to tell you what you need to stop. It’s time to stop and to do nothing and to take a breath. Come on, cut yourself a break and take that breath. This is the message you need to hear. It’s a message I need to hear and the message everybody needs to hear right now. And that is what I want for you. It is for you to find the time this week where it is about doing nothing. You heard me do nothing. And the funny part about this is I bet you you might be doing something right now because you’re a multitasker just as I am. You’re probably listening to me while you You’re doing the dishes or while you’re walking the dog. And I hope I’m not overstepping the mark here. But are you one of those people who can’t even sit on the toilet without scrolling through your emails? Or your social media? Or are you in the bathroom right now, as you’re listening to this podcast, don’t tell me you’ve never done that before. And I say this. Because as much as we need to be productive, in order to get stuff done, we also need to perfect the art of doing nothing. And look, some of you might say, There’s no way I have a business to run, I have students to teach, I have a household to take care of. And my kids never leave me alone for a minute. And let’s not forget about the bills, we all have to pay. This sounds like you, I’m talking to you. Because the Art of Doing nothing is something that we all need in our lives. And I bet you if you take the time of Let me guess, what are you going to do with that time, you’re probably going to find stuff to do like rearranging your cupboards, you’re going to do one of the million things on your to do list that you’ve been putting off. So I want to explain this concept of doing nothing and why it’s so important.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  06:49

Being able to do nothing, whether it’s just for a minute, or it’s for a day, or it’s for a week, this is so important. And I’m not only having the conversation with you, but I’m actually having it with myself too. I’ve been working so hard lately, and I have such a hard time doing nothing. Why? Because I’m addicted to being busy. I confess to that I’m addicted to my to do list, writing those jobs down, crossing them off, then finding more to do. It’s a vicious cycle. Some of my days are filled with so much to do that literally. I’m running around just doing doing doing. And the world has glamorize this idea of being productive and being busy. And I admit I know I have glamorize the idea of being productive, too. But we need to measure that productivity and keep it real. You see, I hit a wall recently. And I found that after having a weekend of doing nothing, my productivity and my creativity went through the roof. How? And why you may ask? Yes. Fair enough. Well, you may always be on the go just as I am. Right. But are you actually getting the stuff that matters done? Are you actually achieving anything? Are you truly being productive? How do you know the answer to that? If you don’t stop for a moment? And ask yourself the question. That’s one of the reasons I’m talking to you about the importance of learning how to do nothing on purpose. We have to figure out how to create moments when we’re thinking about nothing. Because these moments help you to refuel and to recalibrate. We need to be purposeful about those moments. So stop with doing all this stuff, and figure out what is important to you. The problem with doing a million things at once becomes where we didn’t get that thing done over here. Because we have conflicting or compelling interests over there. We feel compelled to do that thing. And suddenly we feel in overwhelm and then nothing ends up getting done. Or we may be busy all of the time. But we’re not actually achieving the thing we want to achieve when not being productive and we don’t feel satisfied with Our output, we’re busy, all right, but we’re not being productive, then we don’t feel satisfied, because we don’t feel like we’re being effective. We could be doing all this work. But if we don’t feel like we’re doing the right work, we begin to feel a sense of dissatisfaction creep in. And when that happens, you and I both know that life loses that vibrancy, we can even begin to become resentful. Because all the joy and all the satisfaction is gone. We need to do nothing and to take a step back and to ask ourselves, why am I feeling in time with something all of the time? Why can’t I just go home after work, and kick off my shoes? And just enjoy my time with my family? Or my friends? Like, why do I have to be doing something just for the sake of doing something? It’s literally like being on a treadmill where you can’t get off? Think about it. That’s why we need to stop and do nothing. It’s a time where we can regroup and refocus. It’s the only way we can truly figure out what is most important for our future. And then we can begin to prioritize those things. So have a think about that?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  11:51

Your phone, Ah, here’s another thing that holds us back from doing nothing. And that’s our phone. How much time do you waste on your phone? Instead of giving your mind a break? When you have a moment to yourself, you find that you start scrolling. I’m on the train right now. And as I think about this episode, the train is packed full of people. And literally everyone is on their phones. And I can be guilty of this too. At times, I get a moment to myself, and what do I do, I start scrolling through my phone. And I don’t know why I do it. I literally sit there and I start scrolling through Instagram. And the next thing I know 30 minutes have gone by, I have just wasted 30 minutes getting all worked up about everybody else’s life and what everybody else is doing in their lives and in their businesses. And about all the stuff that I feel I should be doing so I can put more on my plate. This makes no sense, then, I feel bad about myself. Because I have been comparing myself to others. This sounds like you too. Next time you have a spare moment, choose to put that phone down instead, don’t fall into the trap of picking up the phone just because you have to be doing something. So let’s just call it out for what it is. Okay, most of what you’re seeing online is not actually true. So much of it is fake agram. Most people aren’t as efficient or as busy or as riches they make out on social media. It’s smoke screens and mirrors. And I guarantee you the second that these influencers leave the Instagram shoot that perfect life is not what it seems. They even look completely different. Those influences don’t look how they look for real. Either they use a filter, or they have their glam squad, or both. Often they shoot from other locations or homes they don’t live in. They hire out a location to film. I know people who hire out their homes to influences. Some of them don’t even drive the car they’re filming in because it’s a paid endorsement. But we don’t know that. So stop torturing yourself with the impossible standards that you see on social media. So much of it is fake. How can you remain hopeful about your life when you’re surrounded by these fake achievers. And I say this, because it frustrates me that you and I look up to these people. So if you are in the doldrums, and you’re constantly comparing yourself, or beating yourself up, because you think everybody else is out achieving you, you are wrong, my friend, people are putting up fake achievements and perfection online to try and sell you something. And then let’s not forget about this, then there’s the incredible advice that’s out there. And we feel bad, because we don’t know how it can actually work in our own lives. And so when you’re listening to somebody who is a so called expert, or they’re a fitness influencer, or there’s somebody that’s telling you how to live your life, I know that in order for the advice to work for me, I have to apply it in a way that fits into my life. The thing is that the way this stuff is presented is that it’s like an all or nothing thing. There’s nothing flexible about it. And so what you’re going to find is that if you hold yourself up to that impossible standard, you’re going to feel substandard. So you must become realistic about the demands in your life and take the time to see what you expect and demand of yourself. Hopefully, that will help you get rid of some of these unrealistic expectations and demands you’re putting yourself through so you can clear the way for doing nothing free of guilt.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  17:05

Then there are the distractions caused by your inability to say no to others, how much of your free time or what should be your nothing time is taken up by other people’s stuff. Come on, let’s start with you people pleasers hands up. You might not think this is you but by saying yes to everyone. You are allowing others to take charge of your life. Please, it is time for you to start saying no more often. So if you find that you’re busy all the time, doing all the things that others put on your to do pile, and you have no time left for the things that are important to you. It is time to stop saying yes and stop playing victim. Why would you do this? You must learn to say no and take charge of your life. The problem is that the more you agree to take on, the more people will think you are a pushover. And they will keep dumping stuff on you. Like all of us. I receive emails all the time, from people asking me to action something. And you know, what I’ve realized is that usually when someone sends me an email that says it’s urgent, it’s because they’re disorganized, and have left something to the last minute. So then why should I have to pay the price for someone else being in a shambles? It’s time we all start saying no. And put ourselves first. So we don’t experience the agony of prioritizing someone else’s needs and desires before ours. So next time someone asks you to do something that is not aligned with your purpose. I dare you to say no, thank you. You know, you may feel this is brazen, and it takes Audacity. But the message here is if you want people to stack more and more on your plate. Just keep saying yes. Knock yourself out here. If you want to have less and less time for you. Yes, keep saying yes. I know it’s hard. I know it’s hard because I’ve been that person that was at everybody else’s beck and call. And I didn’t have time for those things that mattered to me. I was raised to be a people pleaser, because that was part of our Italian culture. It was inbred to worry about what others think about you. We didn’t want people to think badly about us. And so we didn’t want people thinking that we were unkind and saying yes was a way to keep people happy, and to have people keep liking us. And we lived our lives to the standards of others. And it was hard for me to let go of that mindset. But I couldn’t live my life that way. I felt that people were not being respectful of my time. By pleasing everybody, you can’t focus on what matters to you. Don’t compromise your energy, your relationships, your work, your heart and your soul. You need to establish strict boundaries around your time, demanding people are no longer my priority. I will not allow my happiness to suffer just to please somebody else. learning to say no has allowed me to attract only good things to my life. Learn to say good riddance, it is up to you to teach others how to treat you. And respect is something that is earned. And if you want people to respect your time, you must take charge of your own life, and stop floating around doing everything that everyone else asks the view. It’s time to focus on your own purpose and passion and find joy in those moments where you decide to do nothing.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  22:07

If you’re lucky enough to have time off work this week, I want you to stop and think what would doing nothing mean for you? If you’re somebody who has to work this week, I want you to think about what would a moment of doing nothing look like for you? And if you’re somebody who has a ton of stuff going on and hearing that stresses you out more, and you have that feeling like that? I can’t stop. Ask yourself, what if? What if you did nothing? What would be so bad about that? Would the world caving? You see, for many of us, it is our own fault that we can’t take time out and take time to do nothing. As I said, we are so busy running around doing all the stuff that doesn’t matter. Or we get suckered into scrolling on social media, or wasting precious time we could have had for ourselves. And we end up doing a million things but other people. And here’s the other thing. We live in a world that has trained us to always be on. This is why we don’t have time for what matters to us. It seems we’re always seeking something to do because we feel guilty when we’re not. And we can thank society for that. I feel that pressure to I feel like there’s something wrong with me if I’m not doing something. So I get this. But one thing that I want you to do is to stop feeling guilty. The other issue is that we don’t know how to do nothing. I’m always doing something to I just don’t know how to do nothing. I don’t know how and neither do most of you. But this week, I dare you to find 30 minutes where you can begin to practice the art of doing nothing and that you commit to doing this today. So I want you to think right now, about that moment of doing nothing. And what that looks like for you. Take a breath. What would nothing look like if you could spend 30 Min. That’s just by yourself being still being present in that moment, not thinking about anything. Imagine doing that with no agenda. What does that look like? What comes to mind for you will, for me, I immediately think about running a hot bath. That’s what comes to mind for me. Imagine just running a hot bath. And when you do this, you don’t bring a book with you. Because it’s okay to be alone with your thoughts. And we all need to do more of that in our lives. I feel the same way. So now that you had that vision, in your mind, of what doing nothing might look like for you a hot bath, a nap, sitting on the couch, or maybe just waking up and sitting in silence before the kids get up. Just hold on to that visual. Because now what you’re going to do is schedule the time when you’re going to do it. Plan the time you are going to do nothing. Because it’s the only way you’re going to make that happen. Get out your calendar, or your diary or your planner and find 30 minutes that works for you and do it. Be sure to hang the Do Not Disturb sign up, lock the door. Unplug the computer, turn your phone off, and do the thing that you visualized. This is your intentional moment to unplug from life. It’s an intentional moment where you can restore your energy where you can interrupt the chaos. Or you can bring your power back into your life. Or you can regroup and we all need that. Stress levels are so high because we are always on we are always running from one thing to the next. We are always on and now is the time to switch off. I promise you that when you step back into being in that productive mode or that creative mode or being that person that life demands you show up as you will be more remarkable. You will have more energy, you will be more creative. You will have more focus and clarity. And you will start to recognize the things that matter. It’s time my friend, to stop spending your life in the wings. It is time to take center stage in your life. You are worthy, you are worth the effort. Always have been and always will be. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of a voice and beyond. I hope you enjoyed it as now is an important time for you to invest in your own self care, personal growth and education. Use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow so you can show up feeling empowered and ready to live your best life. If you know someone who will also be inspired by this episode, please be sure to copy and paste the link and share it with them. Or share it on social media and use the hashtag a voice and beyond. I promise you I am committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one every week. And if you would like to help me please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple podcast right now. I would also love to know what it is that you most enjoyed about this episode and what was your biggest takeaway? Please take care and I look forward to your company next time on the next episode of a voice and beyond.