“Players are artists who create their own reality within the game.” – Shigeru Miyamoto
Have you ever wished to have a scientific excuse to put your work aside, kick back and play videogames? Well, you’re getting lucky today baby!
Whenever I got stuck on a problem with a song, production or cutesy side project i’d just walk away, turn on some tunes and whatever generation of PlayStation was the latest and completely zone out for a while. Man, I felt so damn guilty you know?
We’ve been told to work through the problems and all that jazz. It’s so ingrained we can’t really help feeling like you’re just plain lazy.
Well, sound the buzzer ‘cuz that’s apparently ass backwards! Yihaa!
A study done by Ut Na Sio & Thomas C. Ormerod in 2009 called “Does Incubation Enhance Problem Solving?” showed that purposeful distractions actually ENHANCE our ability to solve problems!
The study did however have some caveats to this. First of all you have to come to the point where you’re seriously stuck. I don’t mean that you’re facing a hill. If that’s all then incubating won’t help you get past that. What we’re talking about here is a 90 degree wall that stretches for miles. Got the picture? Sweet!
It probably depends on the person but my experience was that a break of 45 minutes to 1 hour was just about enough to clear my ears and mind. However, after working on something for 6-8 hours (with breaks every 1,5-2 hours) we can probably call it a day. We need to do life for a while, get a good nights sleep and go for it the next day!
Also, there were 3 degrees of activity during those breaks, let’s call them “relaxed”, “playing” and “working”.
Relaxed means that you’re listening to music or vegging out in front of the tv. Playing is when we turn on a videogame, surf the net, talk on the phone or do something where we’re engaged in an activity that requires moderate physical and/or mental activity. Working includes moving on to another project entirely, going for a brisk walk, working out or doing other activities that require us to engage our minds and/or bodies fully.
These different types of activities and the time we spend doing them help us tackle different types of problems. Since the focus was on problem solving I couldn’t really decipher which type of creative activities require which type of activity. My hunch is that the “playing” mode will help in most cases. The closest example was word problems and that suggested the “playing” mode. So, until further notice: Alternate and see what works best for YOU!
Finally, a scientific reason for slacking off and NOT feeling guilty about it! What’s not to love? I mean, besides the looming danger of not getting stuff done, missing the deadline etc.
This is where negative thinking can be put to good use! Plan for this to happen and make sure to have the margins on your side.
The last thing we need is to go for a break only to look at the watch 4 hours later because we got caught up in farming that boss for a rare piece of loot we were missing from the “Hunt List”. Plus the last patch changed the drop rate close to “not-gunna-happen”.
Damn you! Damn you straight to hell! Sorry, didn’t… Didn’t mean it. I loves ya!
Here’s some sound advice to everyone from a cool guy called Jazza, check out his channel on YouTube called “Draw with Jazza” for tutorials on drawing and more!