These are the 3 types of mental downtime your brain needs

Over the past decade, it has become clearer to many that being “on” 24/7/365 is not a recipe for success. Discussions about work-life balance and the need to take vacations are signs that we understand that getting away from work is important for mental and physical health.

It’s useful to dig a little more into what you’re trying to accomplish with your downtime, though. The more you understand about what you’re trying to achieve, the easier it becomes to recognize when you might need to take a little extra time away from work. In addition, you can do a better job of tailoring your activities to what your brain requires in order to hit the ground running when you return to work again.


One problem with a constant focus on work is that you often end up thinking about the critical problems you’re facing in the same way, which can lead you to bang your head repeatedly against the same walls. There are several intersecting factors that lead to this similarity in focus.

First, when you remain engaged with thinking about an issue constantly, your description of the problem remains the same. The way you describe something influences what knowledge you’re reminded of that might help you address it. Without getting a new perspective on the problem, you will be unlikely to retrieve other things you know that will help you think differently about it.


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