Before the constant distractions of Facebook, emails and vibrating smartphones, we enjoyed this thing called "downtime". We've mentioned several times how breaks help us stay productive — so when was the last time you did nothing but be in your own head?
Photo by InnervisionArt (Shutterstock).
When we say "doing nothing", we don't mean flopping down on the couch to play video games, watch a movie and de-stress, although there's value in that too. We mean actually doing nothing, like standing on the porch with a cup of coffee, alone with your thoughts.
Those moments are rare for most of us, except perhaps when they're forced on us, such as when we're showering, shaving or brushing our teeth. Study after study has shown that downtime helps us recharge our mental batteries, come up with new ideas, remember important things and dream amazing things. Even so, Scott Belsky, writing for The 99 Percent, points out that we often crave distraction, and if we really want downtime, we have to carve it out of our day by unplugging, scheduling times and places for deep thinking, meditation or naps, and then fiercely protect it.