Don’t Be Lazy!
Bonnie Tsui’s article, “You Are Doing Something Important When You Aren’t Doing Anything” explains why it’s okay to be lazy for a month if necessary. I don’t doubt that those who veg out in the sun feel rejuvenated after, or even spark creativity. But as a very busy and active person, I would like to purpose more active ways to be creative.
Ms. Tsui states one should read a book, walk in the park, or visit a museum and relax for weeks after a project at work. Tsui does not established how hard her work is but tells us that we need rest after every obstacle we face. A more active approach to spark creativity would be getting involved in arts and crafts. As a child, we would invest our time in finger painting, drawing, and building forts. At age five, 80% of our creative potential has developed. Designing something with the mind on paper or with the couch cushions, can get the creative juices flowing again.
I agree everyone needs a day off once in awhile to enjoy themselves and reconnect, but stimulating the brain by maintaining a busy schedule is beneficial for cognitive function according to The University of Texas at Dallas. Additionally, scheduled leisure time, like Tsui recommends, “feels less free-flowing and more forced-which is what robs them [test subjects] of their utility” claims Selin A. Malkoc who conducted a study on free time from Ohio State University. If free time is scheduled, there is a “dampening effect” and makes it feel like work. Instead, spontaneous one-day trips once in awhile would have a more positive effect on the mind.
Everyone doesn’t need to take a break or need the same amount of rest. For example, a construction worker, who is hardworking and on their feet all day, may feel like they need a day off after a few weeks. Those who are active are more likely to stay moving, and may not need as many days off. On the contrary, someone who is lazy may need a few days off because any amount of work is too strenuous for them.
In the future, each obstacle we encounter will stimulate our brain and prepare it for the next hurdle. Take a break when feeling drained and when completely necessary, but try a more active approach like painting. We owe it to ourselves to make the most out of our day and fallow time is wasting our time away.
The less downtime we have, the more productive we will be and the more goals we’ll achieve. The bar is set higher for younger generations as well. The “creative life” is just a fancy phrase for a lazy existence.
After these several rounds of feedback and revision, you’ll have to ask me a new question so that I know you’re still looking for Feedback, SmellyCat.
—You don’t exactly contradict Tsui here, SmellyCat. Unless I’m mistaken, she doesn’t say she (or others) “can’t handle” their many social roles. She argues, instead, that respite helps us function better. Lots of us, myself included, feel somehow superhuman when we “thrive” on 4 or 5 hours of sleep, but we’re probably kidding ourselves and would learn so if we ever did get some regular sleep.
—Maybe set yourself the challenge of offering an alternative to her prescription without feeling obligated to deny the validity of hers.
—This can be done very politely. “I don’t doubt that people who recharge their batteries by lazing around in nature for a few days or weeks experience renewed energy, even inspiration. But I would like to speak in favor of MORE ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT IN CREATIVE EXPERIENCES as an alternative.
—Or something like that. Does that make sense? You’re not obligated to hate the author’s chocolate to promote your own mint chip. “Different flavors,” you say. “Can I get some time off to throw myself into a video production course?” you might ask.
—This is where readers might think you’re being a little dismissive or petty, where you could simply accept her own approach but offer another. That “feels obligated” is a bit personal.
I agree everyone needs a day off once in awhile to enjoy themselves and reconnect. However, stimulating the brain by maintaining a busy schedule is beneficial for cognitive function according to The University of Texas at Dallas.
—What’s “them” in this sentence? You do well to quote from a study that questions the efficacy of planned leisure, but the quote has to flow with your own grammar.
—This is all good, and Malkoc does seem to question the efficacy of certain kinds of leisure, but does his prescription really differ from hers? Reading a book, wandering out into the park, visiting a museum—all suggestions made by Tsui—can all be done spontaneously.
—Good point. And when you make it, you’re not arguing with Tsui; you’re enlarging on her thesis, which is all you need to do to create value for your Letter. Add nuance. Help create some categories. You’ll feel less obligation to deny her validity.
—She surely would be. But I don’t think she does.
—If you read hundreds of letters to the Editor, you’ll discover that they don’t address the reader in the second person. So neither do we. Don’t preach to your readers about what they should do. Adopt the more inclusive and persuasive first-person-singular “We.”
The less downtime one has,
—The less downtime we have,
the more productive they will be
—the more productive we will be
and goals will be achieved.
—and the more goals we’ll achieve.
—If you believe creative types are lazy and want to disparage them, I won’t stop you, SleepyCat. But if you’re posing to make a better letter, back off and try something more cooperative.
Was that helpful? I appreciate feedback too, and I soon lose interest in one-way conversations. Look forward to your reply!
Are you suggesting that I find a new article and start over? Before I revise my letter with your critiques, I want to make sure what you mean by, “back off and try something more cooperative.”
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Not at all, SC. You have a lot of good work invested in this draft. I meant only that you appear not to be on clear disagreement with Tsui, so your language should be more conciliatory. By all means revise. Or dispute me if you disagree. But please don’t give up. I mean to be helpful, not sabotage your gods work.
Maybe it is God’s work, but I meant to type good work.
Ok thank you, I’ll get to revising soon!
When you get a chance, could you give me some feedback? I added the best evidence I could find to disprove Tsui and tried to explain we don’t all need the same rest. Let me know what you think! Thank you
In a brief scan, I’ve already seen changes and improvements, smellycat. I don’t have the time for detailed feedback at the moment, but I want to acknowledge your request so you don’t think it got lost in the ether. Thanks for the opportunity!
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