The brain does some of its best work when we take a break.
Source: Psychology Today
By Nigel Barber Ph.D.
Most people want to work hard, be productive, and make money. There is little tolerance for slackers. But if we understood what idleness can do for our brains, perhaps we would encourage it more.
The Scheduled Life
The case against idleness is extensively overstated in word and deed. We are told that the Devil finds work for idle hands. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, public and private clocks and timepieces have proliferated. Humans became slaves of time, rising in unison to make it to work by a fixed hour. Moreover, they were inculcated in the proper use of each minute as time and motion experts devised new ways to gin up productivity and sweeten profits.
The scheduled existence has even overstepped the bounds of work and extends into our free time. For some people, this means keeping up a schedule of activities and events over most of the waking day. For others, it means maintaining checklists that prioritize how time is spent. Even schoolchildren maintain schedules of extracurricular classes and sports activities that fill out their waking day.
Yet idleness has profound benefits for our brains.