Thinking Egg II | $16 | Kickstarter
There are many ways to go about doing nothing. For instance, you could doomscroll the day away on Twitter, log too many hours playing your video game of choice while neglecting your weekly chores, or, as has been increasingly the case for me in the past year, you could aimlessly stare at your screen, hoping for inspiration to finally show itself once more. For a while, I looked at doing nothing as a detractor from my work, creating more obstacles in my path as I further dodged ticking things off my to-do list. That’s changed recently, as I’ve kept the Orijin Thinking Egg II in my pocket, a tiny little egg the company says is meant to serve as a reminder to take it slow and soak in the moment.
The Thinking Egg, available now for $16 with new materials available for backing on Kickstarter, is touted as a tool for helping keep you grounded by serving as your anchor for meditation, or just to calm stress and anxiety. That’s an appealing pitch after a year of blankly staring at the screen as my work eludes me and I’ve struggled to remain grounded.
But looking at the Thinking Egg, that premise isn’t immediately obvious. The egg-shaped trinket is about the size of a quarter, and weighty enough to be satisfying to hold without packing too much heft. It’s available in a variety of materials, such as brass, howlite stone, and bamboo (with other variants, such as Damascus steel, tiger’s eye, and jade procurable on Kickstarter), so there’s plenty of options to fit whatever texture you find the most soothing.
I tested the Damascus steel model, which lends a sort of fingerprint-like texture to the shell of the egg, while shooing away any actual fingerprints that could cover up its shine. It feels good to hold, and it’s weighted to stay balanced in your hand as you fiddle around with it. That might seem like a silly calculation to focus on, but its calibration makes holding the Thinking Egg feel more intentional than, say, a rock you found on your afternoon stroll. For something dead set on making you more focused, that intent matters, and it’s part of what makes it such a good anchor for staying grounded when fogginess and aimlessness start to set in.
Brain fog is one of my more severe ADHD struggles, often putting me at odds with deadlines and other obligations like responding to messages, as I try to grasp onto any conclusive thought before my flighty mind whisks it away. It’s a frustrating battle that, if left unchecked, can leave me in a pile of unfinished work and a dearth of time to finish it all in. Over the years, I’ve come up with a range of solutions, such as meditating when my brain can’t seem to slow down, or journaling when I can’t put my finger on the feeling that’s weighing me down. The problem is that those activities take up time I’d otherwise be spending on actually Doing the Thing, which can lead to a self-induced guilt trip if my damage control still leads to missed deadlines or forgotten obligations.
A $16 egg-shaped piece of metal can’t fix that for me, nor will it alleviate the woes of an ADHD-riddled mind, but it does act as a sort of baton which, when handed to you, grants you access to a free space where your mind can roam until it knows where to go. The idea is that whenever you pick up your little egg, you’re giving your mind permission to wander and ride spurts of distraction or stress like waves, keeping you company until you reach your next destination.
After fiddling with the Thinking Egg for about two weeks now, it lives up to that promise. Sure, maybe it’s benefitting from a bit of the placebo effect, but the result’s still the same: Whenever I pick up the egg, my mind knows it’s safe to roam, free of any pending guilt trips or slipped obligations. When I’m struggling to find my next idea, or can’t pinpoint exactly what I’m trying to say, that permission goes a long way towards inching me forward in my pursuits by giving me the space to flesh out my thoughts without the hardships and woes of everyday life seeping in.
If you’re less prone to distractions and brain fog, that premise may fall flat, and the notion of spending $16 on a fancy token might feel silly. That’s totally fine, but there’s still some utility to be found in a tiny baton that grants you entry to a land free from upsetting headlines and the stresses of your work life. That can all weigh you down, and anything that allows you the space to breathe when things feel like too much is worth the investment.
Maybe that’s the Thinking Egg, or maybe it’s a weekend road trip to get away from it all, but in any case, there’s a lot of power in creating a marker for your mind that tells you it’s okay to step out for a second, assured things will be right where you left them when you come back with a clear mind and a fresh perspective.