Idleness and Productivity

Distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything. 

– Jonah Lehrer, via Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon

As I return from a week away, I’m reminded of the importance of the getaway. Although it’s counterintuitive, I’ve learned how idleness can actually be the key to productivity. It cultivates a mental clarity unavailable in our day-to-day lives. I love this post from Crew on the single best thing you can do for yourself and your company.

Ferris Jabr from Scientific American sums up the science:

Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life. A wandering mind unsticks us in time so that we can learn from the past and plan for the future.