Last night, I finished building the new LEGO World Map set. With over 11,000 pieces, it took me around 12 hours to complete. Some of that time was while holding my 3 month-old or building with my 4 year-old. Still, it was a lot of time to simply shut my brain down and build. It reminded me of how important it is to give your brain a break every once in a while.
It's incredible how many problems are solved by going to bed and taking a shower the next morning. I've had countless lightbulb moments while showering, taking the trash out to the road, building LEGO, etc.
As a programmer, I've done a lot to make sure I take care of my hands and wrists—good chair, mouse, keyboard, and desk. But, I've realized I need to do more to take care of my mind. We equate sitting at the computer as working. More and more though it seems that the more time I spend away from my computer, the better and quicker my work is done when I am at my computer. A refreshed mind is the best productivity tool I know of. Want to get more done? Work less.