Why Embrace “Niksen,” The Dutch Art Of Doing Nothing? | Olga Mecking

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AN INTRODUCTION TO OLGA MECKING:

Olga Mecking (she/her) is a writer, journalist, and occasional translator. 

Originally from Poland, she now lives with her German husband in the Netherlands. 

She has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Playboy, The Guardian and the BBC, among many other national and international outlets. 

Her first traditionally published book, Niksen: Embracing The Dutch Art Of Doing Nothing, has been published in the US by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

In the episode, she shares who can benefit from doing nothing (aka “niksen”), how niksen can be more approachable than meditation, why doing nothing can actually boost creativity and productivity…and more!


QUESTIONS I ASK OLGA IN THE EPISODE:

  • What’s your story? (Specifically, what led you to write your book Niksen: Embracing the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing?)
  • How did you first come across the idea of “niksen”? Did it appeal to you instantaneously? How would you define it in your own words? 
  • Who can benefit from niksen?
  • Is niksen a form of meditation?
  • If someone is listening and feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day—especially for “doing nothing”—what would you say to that person? Can embracing niksen actually boost productivity? Creativity?
  • What about if someone is listening and thinking niksen would be boring?
  • Does watching Netflix or reading a book count as niksen? Why or why not?
  • Is there any life stage or time niksen would not make sense for someone?
  • How often—and how—do you practice niksen yourself? And how does it benefit you?
  • How about in your family life—how does niksen come into play? Do you “teach” this art to your kids?

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