16 January 2008

An older and wiser colleague once told me that during his downtime he would "read a book or technical article relating to my profession." I am experiencing downtime right now so I am doing some experimental programming with Google APIs but am finding it exceedingly difficult to be motivated.

What do you do in your downtime and how do you motivate yourself (if you're doing something productive)?

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-- added
The same question was just posted on slashdot, creating a lot more discussion than would be generated here.

Brantone @ January 22, 2008 09:38
I veg ... read something (magazinesor online), watch some TV/videos ... let my brain relax. Actually, if I do watch TV it's usual Discovery or TLC, so I'm learning new stuff ... sigh, my poor brain never gets to relax ...
sgr @ January 22, 2008 17:37
I was referring to downtime at work... unless you've got a TV somewhere in your office.
Brantone @ January 28, 2008 10:41
yeah, some times I watch videos at work ... have watched a few Discovery vids at work ... I was covering the gamut of work & home: work I read and watch vids ... most of the stuff I read is news and other people's blogs, for example: yours ... both of my posts have been during work hours, so ... yeah, I don't do too much at work .. just really good at pretending.
sarah @ January 30, 2008 07:02
Well, some stuff I've been working on with school might be helpful for you. High levels of sensory input significantly effect cortical activity - which means the more you feed your brain the more it works. So when you are having "downtime", a really great way to stimulate your brain is to take part in high sensory activities like reading an article and discussing it with a colleague (this combines language, visual and auditory input). Also playing games with lots of color and motion can be good for stimulating certain areas of your brain - which could impact the motivational and attentional networks of your nervous system.
sarah @ January 30, 2008 07:02
ps - put up some new pictures of Abby!!!
sgr @ January 30, 2008 11:41
I like the "playing games with lots of color and motion" idea. Do you want to write a paper on how companies should implement this for their employees?
sarah @ January 30, 2008 14:43
haha, sure I'll work on that. Maybe a PhD idea (:
Brantone @ January 31, 2008 17:04
I second that "playing games" paper. Would be good ammunition for lunch-hour sessions of Quake or Half-Life.