A brain break could be just what you need to be more productive and more creative.
Having a brain break is something that’s getting rarer now with all the inputs available to us: podcasts, video on demand, productivity apps on every device.
So much input.
Is it diminishing the quality of our output?
Yet our good intentions – to stay educated and motivated by high-quality input – could be neglecting one crucial element.
Our brain needs idle time as well.
We need short periods at the very least when we’re not involved in directed and purposeful activities. That’s when our subconscious can engage in deep reflection and meaning-making.
That’s so important because it is how we get to the feeling that life makes sense. Without it, we can end up feeling anxious and adrift.
Trying to be creative and productive in that state?
So what is a brain break and how can we ‘do it’?
The most obvious way to give our brain a break is to sit back from what we’re doing and take a few minutes to daydream.
Those few minutes staring into space sometimes end up being when our brain solves solve problems and conjures up exciting new ideas without any input from ‘us’.
But we don’t have to sit and do nothing.
We can be out walking, cleaning the car, washing dishes, chopping wood. Anything as long as we let our mind wander instead of directing it to some specific purpose.
Lately, I’ve been enjoying the thirty-minute drive out to my horse without listening to anything.
Usually, I’d ‘make use’ of the time by catching up on phone calls or listening to podcasts. But for the past month, I’ve been making better use of the time by enjoying the silence and the freedom to switch off.
I arrive far more relaxed, which makes for a better ride.
On a recent break from my school marketing job, I spent the time resisting the urge to fill each day with activity and instead allowed myself to take longer to do everyday things – a walk with the dog, feeding the chickens, browsing the library shelves in search of a few good books. It felt so good to slow down and daydream.