Get Off That Crackberry! For Your Brain, Downtime Is Not Wasted Time

Get Off That Crackberry! For Your Brain, Downtime Is Not Wasted Time

Sometimes, it may seem as though we’re only concerned about your money. But that’s not the case: We’re also concerned about you! While we see helping you manage your finances to the best of your ability as a way to help you be healthier and happier overall, it isn’t the only way. Another way is to unplug.

Time Online Is Less Productive Than We Thought

It shouldn’t come as a shock that the endless hours we spend plugged into our phones, TVs, and computers are a lot more beneficial to our jobs than our health. But it turns out that a lack of downtime is actually keeping us from learning. The New York Times reports that research suggests that keeping the screens on and our brains occupied is tiring us, rather than refreshing us. Where we used to have a few minutes here and there of nothing to actually focus on (think walking to get coffee, or driving), we now fill those little gaps of time with phone calls, texts, emails, and digital games.

Could You Exercise Without Distractions?

This includes the time we spend exercising—for every person running down the street, allowing her brain to replay and solidify her recent experiences in a way that will allow it to learn and grow, there is another person jogging on the treadmill while watching TV. Interestingly, this is where researchers’ opinions split: While some advocate unplugging while exercising to refresh the mind along with the body, others say that in a society where we’re so reluctant to exercise, anything that will motivate us to do so is a good thing.

Take Advantage Of The Gaps

We can’t very well mandate that you switch off your laptop (especially not before you finish reading this article!), but we can remind you that downtime isn’t necessarily wasted time. So many of us live hectic, overloaded lives, and feel like we have to maximize every second of our being. But thinking instead of texting while waiting for your friend to arrive at the park, or watching people instead of Bravo while exercising is benefitting you. It’s allowing your brain to do what it does best: Learn and expand. When the brain is left to its own devices, creativity reigns. Who knows? Maybe your next great idea will come to you while you grocery shop, cell phone-free.

Tell us in the comments: How do you find downtime for your body and your brain?

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