Celeste Headlee's book began as a research project to understand why they felt so tired, overwhelmed, and unhappy despite their success. What they discovered was that it was a widespread issue in society that was built over 200 to 300 years ago. The book is about how this problem emerged and how to move forward.
The concept of the "cult of efficiency" was first introduced by Bertrand Russell in the 1930s, but people have continued to embrace it. The belief is that being more productive and efficient makes one a better person, but this idea is not natural and has to be indoctrinated. The author believes that people need to be deprogrammed from this way of thinking.
Doing nothing means taking time to relax and enjoy life without feeling guilty or finding ways to make it productive. This can be difficult, but it is necessary to break away from the cult of efficiency. The author suggests setting aside time for leisure activities without trying to maximize the time. It could be simply reading a novel or going for a walk without multitasking.