Downtime refers to a span of time when a system or part of that system is not available. This term is often used when talking about server or network unavailability, however it also applies to your own mental processing. Personal or mental downtime is a period of relaxation or decreased activity, specifically of mental activity. It’s a time when you are not working, learning, or planning an activity.
There are different types of down time, some help you to better focus while others help to take in more varied information for mental processing. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the constant problem solving and information processing that our brains are doing. As software developers we combine the scientific methodologies with the creative aspects of our minds. This is a powerful combination, but can overwork our brains.
Burn out happens when we haven’t taken enough time to rest our minds. A lot of times we want to just push through the mental fog or writers block to get something on the screen. This is detrimental to both our creativity and ability to process information needed to solve complex problems. Taking a mental break during these times is often the best option.
Burnout is something that happens too often and too easily in our industry. It is also something that is preventable. In the episode we discussed the why behind mental downtime. We talked about what it is and the reasons that you want to incorporate it into your life. Here we are going to discuss some changes that you can make to start resting your mind on a regular basis.