The Nothing Box


I’ve often said that if a woman can multi-task, she’s normal, but if a guy can multi-task, he’s got ADHD. I am about to introduce you to a very strange and magical place that men frequent often, but women may be unaware of. I’ve run into a lot of clients and friends who go to this magical place, and one of my clients finally put a name to it, which I thought was pretty clever.

Its called the Nothing Box.

Now what is the Nothing Box? Its a place where men go when there is absolutely nothing going on inside their head. Jerry Seinfeld once said, “Wanna know what men are thinking about? Nothing. We’re just walkin’ around….lookin’ around.” This happens more often than we men would like to think, or even admit. At times, the Nothing Box serves as a valuable tool to focus on the task at hand.

Now how do I know that this Nothing Box even exists? Well for starters, I go there often. One of the more common places I go to my Nothing Box is when I’m driving. All I’m doing is focusing on driving, and that’s basically it. When my wife is with me, sometimes she’ll ask me, “What are you thinking about?” To that I respond, “Nothing.” I wish I were kidding, but that really is the case.

I’ve worked with clients that will go to their Nothing Box as long as they are focusing on a task that requires concentration. These same men will ignore their wives for sex, insensitive to their wives, and have ignored small innuendo during conversation because too many people are talking.

So how do you avoid the Nothing Box? Here are a few tips:

1. Be aware of the outside world. Don’t be so drawn into what you’re doing that the rest of the world doesn’t shake you from your concentration.

2. There’s a time and a place for your Nothing Box. Don’t go there all the time, just certain times when you don’t have to be conscious of others needs or Emotions.

3. Increase your capacity for awareness. Sometimes you don’t recognize that you’re in your Nothing Box until you’re already there. Use your Thoughts to consider when and where you are most likely to go to your Nothing Box, and decide whether or not you want to go there.

For you ladies, there’s some stuff here too:

1. Realize that your man may vey well have a penchant for the Nothing Box. Cut him some slack if he’s decided to be there. Its not because he’s not thinking about what’s important, it may just be that he’s a guy and can focus on only one thing at a time.

2. Educate your man about his Nothing Box. He may not even know he’s going there.¬†Kindly letting¬†him in to what he’s doing could help you understand each other better.

3. Give your man some time to be in the Nothing Box. He’s got to be there sometime, so give him a chance to be there. Talk about when might be a good time for him to go there, so that it doesn’t get in the way of stuff you need to do.

So let me ask you this: Have you ever gone to your Nothing Box? Ladies, do you have a story about your man and his Nothing Box? I’d love to hear it!

P.S. – This isn’t a new concept. Cindy Holman talked about it here, as well as Robb Lewis, and Carolyn McCulley. Check out their stuff on this topic and enhance the discussion.


    Okay, I’m a woman and I don’t have a nothing box. Sometimes I wish I did. My mind is just too busy. The closest thing I have is thinking about my happy place when I’m stressed – and I really have to concentrate on that happy place or I will go back to thinking about my problems. So I’m a little jealous that men get to have a nothing box to veg into.

    On the other hand, if I had a nothing box, I probably wouldn’t get as much done. So maybe I’m not quite as jealous.

    Thanks, Jim, for this post. It helps me understand my husband a bit better and I’ll quit giving him grief when he says he’s think about nothing.

  • No problem Julie! Mark Gungor came up with the concept, so he gets all the credit for coming up with something so clever and humorous. I have to admit I don’t get nearly as much done when I’m in my nothing box, so its much like Adrian Monk’s OCD…its both a blessing…and a curse. :)

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  • Hey – thanks for the mention in your blog! I totally agree!

  • Thanks for the informative page – I enjoyed reading it! I always enjoy browsing your blog. :)

  • No problem Cindy! I realized that it was probably a good idea to see if anyone else talked about it, and there you were! Thanks for paying me a visit! :)

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by S M Sabri. S M Sabri said: Same as Jim Valeri, I go to my Nothing Box most often when driving … #fb [...]

  • Sorry It is little late, but I have just heard about nothing box from my client and I am searching through the concept. After reading the article, I realized that as a woman I too go in to nothing box often yet briefly.

    I believe this is the place for everyone to be in time to time, it is a spontenious meditation to disconnect from chaos, duties and noise. There is absolutely NOTHING there. No meaning, no purpose. A very airy state of mind:). It seems like men go there more because the women especially mothers by nature feel guilty for taking time for themselves even for a few minutes in the nothing box. I am sure even some busy men that is not even an option.

    Allow yourself to be in nothing box some times, your brain will thank you.

    Ps. Thank you for the article, great info.

  • if a woman has NOTHING BOX, does she have mental problem and\or is she ubnormal?

  • I think everyone is capable of having a nothing box if they’re not careful. It just seems to fit more with guys. Great question!

  • Thank you for your great response to my article. Good stuff all around! :)

  • I’m a man. I don’t have this “nothing box” ability. My wife would sooner be accused of having one than me. This theory is bias. The End.

  • A lot of the guys I work with do, so it applies to many of them. Thanks for sharing your opinion and I respect you for it. :)

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