A New York Times article highlighted two studies that show our need to “cool off” after absorbing information, which means taking time off staring at LCD screens to recharge.
A University of California, San Francisco study found that new experiences create new patterns of activity in the brain of rats. Furthermore, the researchers also found that the brain needs down time to process these into learning and long-term memory. When the brain is in constant stimulation, this learning process is stalled.
Another finding from the University of Michigan showed that people learned better when in the presence of nature like a walk in a park compared to an urban environment. It suggested that the more the stimulation, the more tired we become.
How does this relates to us lowly humans? Well first off, we need to get away from screens, any screen, to prevent fatigue. Constant stimulation kills learning. This seems to be getting hard to do of late, with all the computers and gadgets we have with us. What
I myself can attest to this and trying to squeeze tasks into every small gap in the day won’t make you more productive but quite the opposite. Take a breather once in a while to relax and absorb your surroundings to recharge. Try injecting some nature in your workplace to invigorate yourself and stop twiddling on your cellphone every time you wait for something.
As the sign says, “This is the last page of the internet. Now shut off your computer, iPad or whatever and go outside and have fun.”