One of my favorite Bruno Mars songs:
A line from Cal Newport’s Deep Work:
”These efforts, (cartoonist Tim Kreider) is convinced, need support of a mind regularly released to leisure”
..a mind regularly released to leisure. I’ve often found myself at the thin end of not taking breaks thinking I can somehow fix the solutions of my designs by working more on them. But as Cal beautifully puts it in his book
“some decisions are better left to your unconscious mind to untangle. In other words, to actively try to work through these decisions will lead to a worse outcome“
An experience comes to mind of when I attended the writing workshop, Handwash my heart by artist / poet, Christine Herzer. It was very odd for us to be given long breaks to do almost nothing between the sessions that she would have with us. We would have small instigations that would take about 45 mins to an hour in the morning and be set free for about three hours and meet post lunch to discuss if (at all) we had any notes that came off of it and to share it. There were no rules but it was considered ideal to be isolated from each other and we did without persuasion. Needless to say all of us not only wrote some astonishing stuff (things that still surprise me) but found a deep joy in the whole process.
When working on client projects, even now, at times I struggle with taking breaks. Largely an influence of a conditioning festering into our lives from the industrial age where working more would produce more. We are firmly rooted in the information age presently and with it we are flummoxed with the brutality of the plenty and as such, value in this age is not in creating more quantities but processing what we have deeply.
Quoting from the book again:
“for decisions that involve large amounts of information and multiple vague, and perhaps even conflicting, constraints, your unconscious mind is well suited to tackle the issue”
And taking deep breaks is the only way to ignite our unconscious mind and let it work its magic.