The Subtle Art of Not Learning

For as long as I remember, I’ve been addicted to learning. I don’t know for sure when it started – I suspect after college, but it may have been sooner.

Every minute of my free time, I try to learn. If I am going out on a walk or to work out, I go listening to a podcast or audiobook. The same goes for cooking or washing dishes. If I’m eating at home, I’m watching a lecture on YouTube. Nor do I go to the bathroom without a book or article to read.

As a result, I have accumulated much knowledge, no doubt. And because I make a real effort to select the things I consume, I can even say that it is mostly useful knowledge.

But I’ve since decided to start an experiment of sorts: I will stop learning, outside of time specifically devoted to learning. Because I think that even as I learn new things, I am losing the ability to apply the knowledge. Because, as I fill my head with new data, I allow it little time to digest it all.

This was the lesson of Archimedes’ bath – the lesson that tells us that the solution to the problems that plague us comes up the moment we stop looking for it.

My time has always been spent looking for something.

Now, I’m trying to give room for solutions to emerge.