drifting librarian

Randomness has its benefits, and multi-tasking is inefficient. These are things I’ve written about recently.

Every day another layer of complexity appears that tells us that this is good, this is bad, and this is not what we thought. Such is the case of daydreaming. Clive Thompson suggests that its crucial for

solving problems in our personal lives and at work.

Instead of seeing daydreaming as a time suck, we should embrace it for its potential. Mental drift is useful. The irony is that your brain works harder when you daydream and drift than when you manage to focus on one thing.

But we don’t allow ourselves too many quiet, creative moments in our daily grind. I rarely slip away from my office to take lunch. Surely I’d be more productive if I took more breaks. Who is to say that I don’t take breaks, mental breaks, during the day? It’s easy to be on auto-pilot as I move from task to task.

Here’s another nugget:

the wandering mind also utilizes the prefrontal cortex, the part of our brain that’s involved in problem-solving.

And that reminds me of a bumpersticker a friend displayed on her car until she sold it:

Not all those who wander are lost.

What else, then? Just a reminder not to beat yourself up for your lack of focus on a particular day. Sometimes your brain is more attuned to what you need than you are.

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