I used to run therapeutic groups on topics and excerpts from this book, using it as a tool to promote mindfulness and evoke a thoughtful discussion on topics such as letting go. One of my most favorite sections is called "This Is It".
So often we focus on what's next, what's coming, what action to take next, what task to do next, what to eat next, next next next! We're always going going going, rushing rushing rushing. We must always be productive. We always need to be doing, we always need results (the faster the better!). But what happens if we stop? What would happen if we were to say "Nothing happens next. This is it."
Dr. Kabat-Zinn talks about how "[w]hen we understand that "This is it," it allows us to let go of the past and the future and wake up to what we are now, in this moment" (Kabat-Zinn, 2005). When we stop holding onto predicting, controlling, or just holding on, we can start to live in the present moment.
As you're reading this, are you itching to go do something else? Are you skimming over the words, catching maybe only the perceived important parts that are in italics? Are you thinking about how you have to go cook a meal, or that bill you have to pay?
Well, you're human. So, no sh*t you'll be thinking about all of this!
Become aware of these thoughts, validate yourself for being human [and a product of your culture/society], and then pause - take a deep breath. Tell yourself, this is it. Pull your awareness back to the present moment, back to whatever it is you need to be doing right then at that moment.
Don't worry if it's not what you would describe as productive - shoot, savasana in yoga is productive, and that is, to an outsider's perception, someone laying on the ground with their eyes closed.
Allow doing nothing...or rather, being nothing, to be productive, as long as during that nothing time you are present and not letting your mind go hang out with the past or the future.