Research suggests that the kind of relaxation Niksen encourages can enhance creativity, problem solving and even improve memory. According to Brigid Schulte, the director of the Better Life Lab, it’s at this stage that “our Default Mode Network lights up, which like airport hubs, connects parts of our brain that don’t typically communicate.” “A stray thought, or a random memory can combine in novel ways to produce novel ideas,” Schulte suggests. Yes, neuroscience is finding that when we are idle, our brains become the most active. Another ‘doing nothing disciple’, author of The Upside of Downtime, Sandi Mann, suggests that “giving the mind space to wander leads to inspiration.”
As the ability to disconnect increasingly becomes a status symbol, Niksen offers us
all an antidote to our always-on, achievement-focused culture. It rebrands time wasting in a positive light and encourages the appreciation of joy in everyday moments. Niksen is said to be attracting many overwhelmed consumers who wish to break free of the cult of productivity. Why not embrace it in North America too. After all, it could become a lovely way to reclaim personal time and simply enjoy doing something without purpose.