Busy does not equal productive











  • slacker – a person who avoids work or effort
  • susceptible – likely or liable to be influenced or harmed by a particular thing
  • to impede – if you impede someone or something, you make their movement, development, or progress difficult
  • to extol – to praise enthusiastically
  • idle – unoccupied; inactive
  • to deplete – to use up
  • to go cold turkey – to stop doing or using something abruptly and completely
  • avid – characterized by enthusiasm


True or False?


1.An article in the New York Times suggests that we should get a hint from people living in Denmark and practice doing nothing deliberately.

2. If you are a workaholic, the ability of your organism to resist a particular infection is not boosted.

3. Jotting ideas down is helpful when mulling over ideas.

4. If you make time to think, observe and listen to your inner voice, your busy schedule will get even more hectic.

5. Walking is better than running when you tackle a problem.

 ANSWERS: 1.F; 2T; 3.T; 4.F; 5.T

Practice Makes Perfect

Use the words in bold below to fill in the gaps in the extracts of We Don’t Need Supersonic Travel—in the “New Normal,” We Should Slow Down. Make sure their grammatical form is correct!

In order to check your answers go to: https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-a-warming-planet/we-dont-need-supersonic-travel-in-the-new-normal-we-should-slow-down


conduct               runway                blight                    pledge                      remotely  

insane                 gaze                      acceleration                      to endure           cramped


We Don’t Need Supersonic Travel—in the “New Normal,” We Should Slow Down

An interesting question: Did the pandemic break something in the heedless momentum of human 1. ………., or are we really going straight back to normal?

An interesting test case: United Airlines’ announcement that it will buy fifteen supersonic jets, which would allow business travellers to fly from San Francisco to Tokyo in six hours, and take “day trips” across the Atlantic.

Surely, we don’t want this. In part, of course, because it’s climate- 2. ….. . Supersonic planes, as Kate Aronoff points out, emit five to seven times as much carbon per passenger as conventional jetliners. United’s statement that the planes, (…) will be “net zero from day one” is perhaps the best example yet of what an empty 3. ……… “net zero” is turning out to be. Among other issues, the planned fleet of planes could use up twice the European Union’s supply of “sustainable jet fuel.” (…)

But let’s talk about something more than emissions. If we’re going to take climate change seriously, it also needs to come with a new aesthetic. We have to start seeing wind turbines on the horizon as kinetic art, not 4. ……..(=something that spoils or has a very bad effect on something), for instance. And we might want to rethink what travel means, something that our pandemic year should have helped us with. At this point, it’s clear that you can 5. ……… a lot of business 6. ……… . (…)

More exciting than United’s supersonic order was the news that, as early as 2025, an outfit called Hybrid Air Vehicles may be offering regularly scheduled blimp service between cities such as Seattle and Vancouver, or Barcelona and Mallorca, or Liverpool and Belfast. According to the company, dirigible travel will emit ninety per cent less carbon dioxide per passenger mile than a standard airplane. (…) But I think the experience will be the thing: with no need for a  7. …….. (…), the blimps could land near the center of cities. And blimp passengers, instead of strapping themselves into a metal cylinder with tiny windows and 8. ……….. a 9. …….. ride, will have huge windows to 10. …….. out of and plenty of room to move around. (…)

 ANSWERS: 1. acceleration; 2. insane; 3. pledge; 4. blight; 5. conduct; 6. remotely; 7. runway; 8. enduring; 9. cramped; 10. gaze



  • Do you feel you rush from errand to errand and are chronically short of time?
  • Do you have a problem with building into your calendar some space to do nothing on purpose?
  • Do you think that rushing can lead to egocentric behavior (make one less empathetic)?
  • Do you think slowing down helps one not to lose his/her cool in tense situations?




Explore it more to create your own teaching-learning experience!

People aren’t just cooking anymore — they’re cooking, texting, talking on the phone, watching YouTube and uploading photos of the awesome meal they just made. Designer Paolo Cardini questions the efficiency of our multitasking world and makes the case for — gasp — “monotasking.”