How To Waste Time Properly: Illustration by Francesco Izzo for Nautilus. Art Print
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About this artwork
How To Waste Time Properly: The right distractions can boost creativity. By Greg Beato
Illustration by Francesco Izzo
Ever since Frederick Winslow Taylor timed the exact number of seconds that Bethlehem Steel workers took to push shovels into a load of iron ore and then draw them out, maximizing time efficiency has been a holy grail of the American workplace. But psychologists and neuroscientists are showing us the limits of this attitude: Wasting time, they say, can make you more creative. Even seemingly meaningless activities such as watching cat videos on YouTube may help you solve math problems.
Brent Coker, who studies online behavior at the University of Melbourne in Australia, found that people who engage in “workplace Internet leisure browsing” are about 9 percent more productive than those who don’t. Last year, Jonathan Schooler, a psychology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara published with his doctoral student Benjamin Baird a study called Inspired by Distraction. It concluded that “engaging in simple external tasks that allow the mind to wander may facilitate creative problem solving.”
Read more at: http://nautil.us/issue/7/waste/how-to-waste-time-properly