Okay, bear with me—that seems like a ominous way to start a post :)
A few months ago I read a book called OUTLIERS by Malcom Gladwell. It is all about what makes people successful. It’s thought provoking—even if it is a little dry (non-fiction isn't my thing).
There's an entire chapter about the differences between the Chinese children’s school year as opposed to the American children’s school year. A little random background: the Chinese work in rice paddies year round, while American farmers let their fields rest in winter.
The American school year is built around the agricultural idea that just like fields need time to lie fallow, so do minds. Educators believed that children’s minds need a break. The Chinese do not believe this. Work, work, work.
The Chinese have higher academic scores than American’s.
Gladwell's conclusion: Down time is bad for the mind.
I can see Gladwell’s point, but I just want to say: I get my best ideas I am doing mindless things; cleaning, waiting in the car, mowing the lawn, showering. I need down time. My mind needs down time. I do my best work in my down time.