Take a Break for Goodness Sake

It’s not having the answer
It’s dreaming up the question
It’s pivoting like a dancer
Then testing with regression

It’s not about the facts
It’s making the connection
It’s that which then attracts you
To create a new projection

It’s not about the figures
It’s about the correlation
And Big Data just gets bigger
With more data integration

It’s not the data warehouse
It’s the cross association
It’s not the beans that count
But considering causation

It’s asking why and asking how
And looking for the info
That will open doors and disavow
Hip shooting from the HiPPO

Big Data isn’t magic
Big Data’s not divine
Big Data becomes tragic
When art is left behind

The human head contains much more than 100 billion neurons
There are thoughts and schemes and stuff that dreams are built of and are built on
Human beings can look at a cloud and see a face resolving
And fantasize how that relates to the problem they are solving

Feed your head
The door mouse said
Don’t die from dried-up facts
Imagination speeds creation
And for that you must relax

Let your brain recuperate
And give it room to breathe
Let the sweat of your brow evaporate
Stop the grinding of your teeth.

Go for a walk and have a beer
Go swimming in the ocean
Light a fire, indulge desire
Wallow in emotion

“As one grows older,” Einstein said,
One sees the great futility
Of imposing your will on the chaos
With brute force and hostility.
But if you can be patient,
There may come that moment when,
Your mind is on vacation
The answer bows and says, ‘Here I am!'”

That’s almost an exact quote from Albert Einstein. You could look it up. But instead, take a break and think about something else. Or take a couple of shots of tequila, as it really has been shown to boost productivity.

You can work at learning facts and you can work at analyzing data, but if you want an insight, you have to relax your mind enough for the anterior superior temporal gyrus to do its job. That’s the “Eureka” part of your brain. That’s where the breakthroughs happen.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that a certain level of inebriation can help get the creative juices flowing. In the study, participants whose blood alcohol level (BAC) was slightly less than .08 percent performed better in a creative task than did their sober counterparts. (The intoxicated group, however, underperformed when they were assigned memory tasks.) The researchers determined that a person’s “creative peak” is reached when the person hits a BAC of .075 percent.

No, I don’t advocate drinking while actually at work, but I do advocate thinking about work when you are jogging, falling asleep, sitting on the beach, swimming and, yes, enjoying a nice, peaty Islay single malt scotch.

Just don’t think hard about it. Don’t solve problems or plan projects. Instead, think about the big issues and let your mind do that wonderful free-association thing.

Need something with fewer side effects than drinking?

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