By giving the brain ‘downtime’ we can improve mental health and allow ideas to incubate.

“Learning without reflection is a waste, reflection without learning is dangerous” – Confucius

In today’s networked society we are at risk of becoming victims of information overload. Introspection and reflection have become lost arts as the temptation to ‘just finish this’ or ‘find out that’ is often too great to resist. But working harder is not necessarily working smarter. In fact  slacking off and setting aside regular periods of ‘doing nothing’ may be the best thing we can do to induce states of mind that nurture our imagination and improve our mental health.

Busyness vs productive occupation

Our lives have become defined by busyness. Look around you at the train station, in cafes, out on the street, people are glued to their mobile handset or tablet.

I recently asked an executive how many emails he received a day. “Five hundred,” he told me. “But I don’t read any of them. If I did, I wouldn’t be doing my job.”

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