Give Your Brain a Break!

In her Smart Planet article titled Are we being conditioned to have attention deficit disorder? Heather Clancy opines about the ways that work can been all consuming and affect the ways that we live. Here are a few clips from her piece:
When was the last time you sat in your office and did absolutely nothing?

And I mean nothing: took your hands off the keyboard, shut the ringer down off your mobile device, and stared out the window and thought creative thoughts about how you could be a better leader or manager or team contributors? I bet very few of you reading this are able to sit still and do this for more than five minutes. I dare you! Set the timer on your cell phone if you absolutely must.

I have often theorized in the past several years with my colleagues and friends and family that we are a nation, a generation (because it’s affecting people of every age) that has been conditioned to have attention deficit disorder (ADD). In fact, in some ways, you can’t be successful if you don’t have it. As I write this, I’m checking e-mail, since I’ve got four (five?) different accounts and I received literally hundreds every day. I’ve got my Google reader and my calendar for the workday open, and I’ve just printed an article from the New York Times about this very topic so that I can look away from my computer for a few moments and collect my thoughts about what I’m writing.
Heather goes on to speak about how obsessively connected she was, via Facebook and email, during a recent retreat with her singing group. I can relate.. even in this season of retirement I seem to be busy all of the time multitasking things on that really don't matter all that much. Heather ends by speaking to our need for "rest":
But one way to make better use of the time we must spend multitasking is to make sure that we pick at least one small window of time every day in which our brains can rest while awake, can tap into our imagination. I was about to say a time in which we can think like a “child,” but sadly many of our children haven’t every been allowed to do this. Is that smart?
That last question hits to the heart of the issue. It does not seem smart to get stressed out by our need to be busy every day. I know that even my "quiet times" can be all about doing - praying.. studying.. meditating.. reading.. anything but a time of quiet. Possibly.. as Heather suggests.. each day I need to make sure that I rest my brain.. it does need a break.

Can you relate to what Heather is saying? What do you do to rest your brain?

4 comments:

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