Research suggests that once you hit a “plateau of productivity,” the number of hours you work without a break is inversely proportional to how much you’ll accomplish.
Even brief escapes such as a walk in nature or a run around the block can clear your head and rejuvenate the brain. Just leave the phone behind and seek novelty (e.g., noticing something new or taking different paths.) Engage your mind with the world instead of worrying about the work you’re supposedly taking a break from.
Downtime allows the brain to refresh the specific neural network you’ve been using, make new connections, and inspire you to fresh approaches to tasks.
Idea for Impact: Intermittent escapism can be valuable. It distracts the brain from useless worry, helps generate out-of-the-box ideas, and may even restore a sense of wonder.
Novelist Neil Gaiman said it better, “People talk about escapism as if it’s a bad thing… Once you’ve escaped and come back, the world is not the same as when you left it. You return to it with skills, weapons, and knowledge you didn’t have before. Then you are better equipped to deal with your current reality.”
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