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Productivity & Work

Mind recess

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gif by Thomas Slater

Inactivity cultivates new insights.

It’s not so much as being bored than it is the value of pausing.

It’s a good thing we can’t write everything our brain says down on paper. Most of it would be jibberish.

Even when we dictate our thoughts onto the computer, we’re impeding the darts of words from overwhelming our head.

We make a lot more sense when we slow down and edit.

When it comes to writing or speaking, that little skip of disfluency creates just enough space between the mind and the mouth or the pen to produce something a bit deeper, a bit clearer, in some cases cleverer.

Even the space after a period gives us just enough of a break to our eyes.

Breathe and stop: Persistence follows the fundamental urge to rest.

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Creativity Productivity & Work

Creativity: Faith in process, faith in rest

Creativity: Faith in process, faith in rest #gif #coffee
gif by @njorg

Your best ideas come when you’re not trying your best but when you’re not trying at all.

Ideas hit you when you’re resting, when your mind is at ease. This is because the mind never shuts off. It’s always processing knowledge, thoughts, and experience even in a perceived dormant state. Says composer and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda:

“A good idea doesn’t come when you’re doing a million things. The good idea comes in the moment of rest. It comes in the shower. It comes when you’re doodling or playing trains with your son. It’s when your mind is on the other side of things.”

Creativity is always awake

Creativity is always awake but it needs time to bloom. It takes in new information and gets feedback along the way. Furthermore, there’s no such thing as a eureka moment. A good idea is an accumulation of bad ones, cleaned up and simplified through trial and error.

Above all, something magical seems to happy though when you step away and let the brain do the work. It makes its own unforced connections.

Discovery is not a matter of giving up but giving in to the process of waiting while keeping the faith.

gif by @njorg

Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

‘Sleep is the cousin of death’

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“I never sleep because sleep is the cousin of death,” spits Nas in his Illmatic track ‘N.Y. State of Mind.’

What he may have overlooked is that sleep, and indeed rest can make you even more productive.

It’s a canard to think that all successful people do is just work. It’s more complicated than that. Scientists Charles Darwin and writer Ernest Hemingway excelled at relaxing. They put in a few deliberate hours of effortful work and just as equally, took their foot off the gas to do other stuff: socialize, spend time with family, walk. They were wise slackers.

24/7 connectivity exacerbates our always work-leisure problem. Like a doctor, we make ourselves available to everything from the trite to the important, treating work and freedom as continuous instead of mutually exclusive.

Integrating task and play backfires. Availability is a game of neediness, we want to show people what we’re up to but then get sucked into the abyss of distraction. We are addicted to the endless stream impressions to alleviate the anxiety in our heads.

What if our productivity depends on the ability to chill out? What if we could practice more deliberately so we could slow down afterward. The work is vital; to master it, we need to free the mind from labor’s oppressive demands.

Read Darwin Was a Slacker and You Should Be Too

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Uncategorized

Goodnight. Sleep Clean.

Sleep, it turns out, may play a crucial role in our brain’s physiological maintenance. As your body sleeps, your brain is quite actively playing the part of mental janitor: It’s clearing out all of the junk that has accumulated as a result of your daily thinking.

Sleep is the brain’s only filter. Given all the social media clutter, I could definitely use some more Z’s. Staying awake is no longer a badge of honor.