Slacking can make you more productive

We need to have a certain amount of focus in our day to be effective and efficient with our daily tasks. But new studies show that a certain amount of unfocus actually helps us in many ways. When we can completely relax our mind, it helps us organize our thoughts and regulate our emotions, among other things. I highly recommend you read this short article about it: your brain can only take so much focus.

But do you realize what this means in layman’s terms? Slacking can make you more productive! I know some people will want to argue with that because it sounds so wrong, and our culture prioritizes busyness (even if it’s not all that productive). I’ve actually heard this concept before, that our brain needs time to organize our thoughts (like what happens while dreaming, but without the crazy randomness).

Is this productive? It can be! Don’t be quick to judge…

You’ve probably experienced this before. Have you ever been taking a long shower or bath, not really thinking about a particular situation, then suddenly you realize a solution? It’s happened to me. That is the kind of experience the article is talking about. There are various other ways to reach that state, since you can only take so many showers and naps in a day. Going for a walk is a good method. Talk with a friend where the conversation is allowed to roam freely with no pressure to keep up appearances.

I’m glad science is realizing this. The all-too-common state of constant busyness is not healthy. The time of relaxing can also help you unwind, to release some of your stress buildup.

If you’re wondering why a serious post got published at this blog of randomness, it’s because of this one statement: Slacking can make you more productive. That sounds like something we’d write to be random and funny, yet it is actually true! And I could’ve taken it to a more humorous extreme, but I wanted it to be taken seriously, because it can help you.

Also, a great way to relax is to enjoy a glass of freshly brewed sweet tea. The idea of “afternoon tea” might seem quaint in our modern culture of busyness, but think about it in light of this conversation. You take a break from whatever you’re doing, drink tea, enjoy nature or talk with friends or read a book. Maybe this is a tradition that should return! (Feel free to adapt it to your use, of course, but simplicity is important here.) Be sure to “slow down” enough to be in the moment, to savor the tea and just enjoy the experience.

To the Buffet o’ Blog staff, let’s take off the rest of the afternoon to be more productive. 🙂 To all my favorite readers, what are you going to do to help your brain focus by relaxing? Try to find a way to spend 15 minutes (or whatever you can fit in) where your brain can relax. Let me know if you discover any useful tips or methods.

the special days of March, pt 2

Now we’ll continue the list of the special days and holidays of March, which we started yesterday.

  • 12 Girl Scouts Day — They do sell some good cookies, like the Samoas and Thin Mints.
  • 12 Plant a Flower Day — I don’t care so much about this, but we do have a certain reader who has a serious interest in flowers (which he denies).
  • 14 Learn about Butterflies Day — Okay, here goes.  Some butterflies can taste with their feet.  I’m sure glad we can’t!  Imagine sitting down to eat a good meal but tasting your socks after a long day…
  • 14 National Potato Chip Day — Yeah, here we go!  On this day, you should eat lots of potato chips.  Of course, choosing one single variety can be difficult, so eat however many kinds you want.  Also, remember that diets don’t apply on holidays.  🙂
  • 14 National Pi Day — No, that’s not a typo.  This is Pi Day because the date is 3/14, or 3.14.
  • 15 Everything You Think is Wrong Day — I know some people who live this every day!
  • 15 Incredible Kid Day — I don’t have any kids, but I was once an incredible kid, myself.  Now I’m even more incredible, because I’ve learned to control my super powers.  I wonder if there’s an incredible adult day?  Or a day to celebrate superheroes?  If not, there should be!
  • 15 Dumbstruck Day — Would you be dumbstruck if I told you “MY BUTT IS ON FIRE!”?  No?  Me neither, because it’s not.  But it’s a funny phrase, and it’s a good example of this holiday.  Your goal on this day is to make people dumbstruck.  So say things that aren’t expected, to try to make people speechless and/or to get that “deer in the headlights” look.  You get bonus points if they say, “Uhh”, three or more times.  🙂
  • 16 Everything You Do is Right Day — Some people think this concept applies to them at all times, but no one is always right.  Politicians especially need to realize this valuable truth, because so many of them do stupid things, but they never admit they were stupid or wrong.  (Perhaps they never realize it?)
  • 17 Submarine Day — Is this referring to the big hero sandwich or the boat?  Since I don’t have much use for a submarine-style boat in these parts, I’ll apply this to the sammich.  (Do you like that spelling?  It’s fun to say it that way.)
  • 19 Poultry Day — This seems like a good day to have fried chicken.  Or perhaps a casserole dish full of Mexican Chicken.  There are a lot of options to consider here…  Actually, since there are so many good dishes, this should be a month-long celebration…
  • 20 International Earth Day — Be thankful for the Earth today.  Living on Earth is much better than living on Mars!
  • alien20 Extraterrestrial Abductions Day — I would advise against participating in this.  While such things might be hypothetical, there’s supposedly some bad things that happen when you’re abducted.  Plus, they might not bring you back — you might become their pet!
  • 21 Fragrance Day — Everyone has a scent, but that’s not what this day is about.  You’re supposed to wear cologne or perfume, to make yourself all good-smelling.  However, I’m afraid some of my readers will use this day to “excuse” their other fragrances, like poopourri.  *groan*
  • 22 National Goof Off Day — This is a holiday that I can really support!  We all need a day off occasionally, even a day off for goofing off.  Sometimes we burn vacation / PDO days to do projects around the house, but it’s really refreshing to spend a day doing nothing important.  Coincidentally, this is the month that Super Smash Bros. Brawl comes out for the Nintendo Wii, and it would be awesome to devote a day to playing that and eating nachos.  But feel free to spend the day however you see fit.  Just don’t do any real work…
  • 23 Toast Day — Let us have a toast to bread, for without bread, there could be no toast.  Also, here’s the marketing slogan from The Toast Marketing Board: “Eat more toast.”
  • 23 National Chip and Dip Day — Yes!  Cheese dip and chips is one of my favorite meals!  I know, to some it’s not a meal, but they should try it.  Sometimes I’ll add some side dishes like chicken strips or taquitos or hot dogs, but they’re not required.  It’s especially filling if you make chili-cheese dip, which I usually do.  Anyway, on this day, eat lots of nachos / chips and dip.  (This holiday should occur every month!)
  • 23 Near Miss Day — This day commemorates a near miss by an asteroid the size of a mountain.  It came within 500,000 miles of Earth.  Perhaps in interstellar terms, that might be close, but it’s not so big of a deal that we should make a holiday of it.  Why does the average person care?  There are people whose job is to watch all the objects in space that are close to Earth, including all asteroids that will be close at some point.
  • 24 Dyngus Day — This is a Polish holiday, where guys chase girls to drench them with squirt guns or buckets of water.  This one sounds fun.  Perhaps we should adopt this in the U.S.
  • 24 National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day — Sounds healthy!  Raisins are a fruit, and chocolate is made from cocoa beans, which is a vegetable.  And nutritionists say we should eat more fruits and vegetables.  So eat all of these you want!
  • 25 Pecan Day — I don’t normally eat pecans by themselves, but the holiday doesn’t specify that you have to.  You can have some pecan pie, or chocolate-covered pecans.
  • 25 Waffle Day — I like food holidays!  You should eat lots of waffles, and experiment with different toppings and syrups to add some variety.
  • 26 Make Up Your Own Holiday Day — I really like this idea!  Everyone should create their own, obviously.  I think I’m going to go with something like “Have a paid day off work where you play video games, eat unlimited amounts of chicken-bacon-ranch pizza, have dirt cake for dessert, have nachos for snacks, drink lots of sweet tea, get a massage from your woman every hour, and do whatever else you want day”.  🙂
  • 27 National “Joe” Day — This day is for everyone who dislikes their name.  On this day you can call yourself “Joe”.  I’m thinking instead of limiting it to “Joe”, why not have a day where you can call yourself whatever you want?
  • 28 Something on a Stick Day — This should be on the same weekend as Toad Suck Daze, the local festival here in Conway, AR, because they sell almost any food on a stick.  One year I tried gator on a stick.  (Yeah, it tasted a lot like chicken.)
  • 29 Smoke and Mirrors Day — Pay no attention to the man behind the smoke and mirrors!
  • 30 I am in Control Day — You can believe this if you want, but it probably won’t make much difference.  I suspect this might be a day for people to daydream about being the boss at work, or being in control of your marriage, or for ruling the world.
  • 30 Take a Walk in the Park Day — Take a hike, bub!
  • 31 Bunsen Burner Day — This may sound like something to do with school, so it may bring back bad memories for some.  But try to let go of the past.  Where’s there’s a Bunsen Burner, there’s fire.  And where there’s fire, you can burn stuff.  So this could be rather fun…  Just be careful if you’re in a laboratory and you start grabbing random chemicals to put in the fire, because, while explosions are awesome, they’re not quite as cool up close.
  • 31 Tater Day — On this day, you eat taters.  What’s taters, eh?  Po-tay-toes.  Boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew.  Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish.

Well, that concludes our listing of the holidays for March.  There was a lot this month.  I hope you found some holidays that you can celebrate to make the month a little more special.