June 2nd, 2015
It seems that, like death and taxes, we cannot escape increasing demands on our time in the workplace.
Although some employers are starting to recognize the unsustainability of the “more, more, more” approach to work, it still falls mainly to each of us to manage an ever-growing workload. That can be particularly tricky in an environment where total devotion to work is seen as a prerequisite for success.
In fact, from a strictly practical standpoint, total devotion to your job may well lead to lower quality work, particularly if what you do involves creativity and problem-solving. Research now supports what many of us know to be true: Our best creative insights and breakthroughs often come when we are not at work. For instance, students who were given a task known to encourage mind-wandering performed better on a subsequent task requiring creative thought than students who were given no task or a task that demanded their entire attention. I suspect this is why my best ideas come to me when I’m out for a walk or a jog — I let my mind wander and it finds the solutions I need.