In the last few years there has been a lot of psychological work done on the brain and how it functions. One of the items coming out of all the wonderful work being done is the need for rest. Both physical and mental rest are as necessary as breathing. Being tired can impair you as much as being drunk or distract you as much as texting!
For me, busyness is part of this epidemic. It seems we are judged on our level of busy. Oh they are busy, they must be vital! Oh their calendar is full they must be busy. I don’t see it that way. Folks who are busy all the time are usually using just the surface of their minds. They are shuffling from here to there checking off lists because they can’t remember anything because they are so busy. If let people slow down, focus at their most important tasks and do less multitasking we might get better and smarter work out of people. Think of it this way… would you rather have someone shuffling three projects/ideas eight hours a day for three weeks or have them work on one thing for one week with a new project each week. Just makes sense to work in serial through-puts. Get one thing completely done and complete.
I think the obsession with busyness is specifically American. We judge Europeans on this weird notion of production, per capita GDP. What does that even mean? Its a math equation that has no bearing on the quality of that persons life or the quality of the work. We put our historical Puritanical notions on work – “… the devil will find work for idle hands”. Maybe weare wrong? Maybe all the work we’re doing is killing us?
Take a nap…. take a day off…. sit at your desk do nothing…. see what happens…. see what comes into your mind… you might be surprised.