By Joel Kessel

Does it sound too good to be true?

Read on…

Things are going to start getting crazier and chaotic here at our house and I’m thinking about how I want to spend my time during the next several weeks and beyond.

I keep telling myself that I want to make sure I take time to step back and just relax and actually do nothing.

But can I and still be productive?

Yes, and here are a couple of reasons why we can do nothing and be productive not just during this busy time of year, but throughout the entire year:

Reason 1:  “…giving our brains time to wind down and think about nothing at all can provide our moments of greatest creativity and insight.”

Daniel J. Levitin, the director of the Laboratory for Music, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University and the author of “The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload,” is credited with this insight.

This helps further explain the aha moments, solutions to problems and great ideas we have when we’re lying in bed or taking a shower. According to Levitin, we’re giving our brain time to relax.

Doing nothing helps our brains, provides clarity and, I believe, also helps reduce some of the stress and overwhelm that we have.

Reason 2: Taking a vacation (doing nothing) makes you even better at your job.

Research shows that when we take time off we’re happier, more productive, more creative, better problem solvers, and more focused. (Huffington Post, 2016; Inc., 2016; USA Today)

According to an Intuit study,82 percent of small business owners who took a vacation experienced an increase in job performance upon their return to work.

For the past few years, I’ve always (at least tried) taken the week between Christmas and New Year’s off. I simply unplug, spend time with friends and family and get recharged for the new year.

And every January I’ve experienced renewed energy and focus for my business, clients, and relationships.

How has taking the time to do nothing helped you?


Joel Kessel is a Strategic Advisor who helps growth-minded leaders gain clarity.

For 25 years, I’ve been advising, training, and guiding executives, leadership teams, and entrepreneurial-minded business owners to think more strategically and communicate more effectively so they can impact the people they lead and the clients they serve and grow their bottom line.

It’s what I do. It’s what I love. And it’s never felt like a job. Work with me, and you’ll benefit from my strategic thinking and communications expertise.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of industry leaders ranging from manufacturing, healthcare, and technology to national non-profits and book publishing companies—great leaders of great companies—doing meaningful work.

As a trusted advisor, I’ve been their private sounding board, expert strategist, fresh perspective, out-of-the box solution-finding specialist, and a few have even called me the calm in the center of their storm.

When you work with me that’s what you’ll get, too: straightforward strategic thinking, action-taking advice, and insightful counsel that pushes you to start achieving your goals . . . right now.

There’s a reason people call me their Strategic Advisor. With a degree in Journalism and Public Relations from Ohio State University, I began my career in Chicago, working for the best of the best, from Chris Ruys Communications to Durk Rion Public Relations to Golin Harris Communications; and for brands from Weber Grill to Ronald McDonald House Charities to MasterLock.

This foundation has led me to help executives and business leaders discover their vision, define their strategic direction, design their actions, and deliver results that impacts them, their people, and enables them to serve clients with excellence.

Where you can find Joel:




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