Window watching – space for my brain

I caught some of You & Yours on BBC Radio 4 this lunchtime. (Yeah, I listen to Radio 1 too, but Radio 4 is “the source of all knowledge”)

They had an article called Travel Remedy Kit, it focussed on how to make the best use of time while travelling, in this case on the train. They found having the options of listening to music, using pen and paper for doodling or other creative activities; helped pass the time, reduce boredom and make for happier travel experience.

What caught my ear was the discussion about the “staring out of the window” time. Typically anyone who does this, in the car, at school, at work, is being idle, wasting time, being unproductive. But this “day dreaming”, having “time with my thoughts” is very important and often vital. It’s time used by the brain to digest, sort out and process ideas, emotions and information. And then to formulate actions and responses.

So the opposite of wasting valuable and productive time can happen. Having a period of reduced focussed sensory activity, helps aid our creative and innovative processes.

As we continue to move towards a 24/7 online, adhocracy based work style (not sure where the lifestyle fits in). It is important that information workers recognise the need for creating effective brain-only time. I think there needs to a cultural shift in thinking that downtime (time away) from our connected/online work environments is valuable and useful.

It has me wondering how procrastination fits into this… as Graham has blogged about here in the category My Brain Topic.

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