I work from home, and it’s tempting to work all the time. We’ve all been told that more effort leads to more results—your nose should be to the grindstone at all times if you want to succeed. Recent studies have challenged this notion, and I’ve found that if I take time to recharge my batteries I can get more done in less time. My creativity is better, my mood is better, and I get more done with less effort.

Friday I recharged by going to museums. I went to the Henry art museum. The main gallery was closed for installation, but I was able to see some smaller exhibits. It was the usual mixture—some of it I really liked, but other things seemed a bit too ethereal to grasp. I look forward to going back and seeing the main gallery—the upcoming show looks incredible. I also really enjoyed the architecture—the building has some lovely vaulting.

My friend and I had time, so next we toured the Burke Museum which focuses on Natural History. I really liked it. I’m not that excited by dinosaurs, and we passed those quickly, but they’ve got a lot of incredible exhibits of cultural artifacts from the local Native American tribes and Polynesia. I want to go back with a sketchbook one of these days.

Our final stop was at the Suzzallo Library on the University of Washington campus. This was my favorite part of the day—the library reminded me of the New York Public Library. We went to the reading room which is a cathedral of books. It looks like a church and has long lighted tables and a discernible silence. You don’t have to be a student to go, and I plan to make more pilgrimages there to sit and work in the gorgeous quiet.

I have a membership that got me into the museums, so the whole outing was accomplished with nothing more than bus fare. This was the first time I had visited any of these places, and I left full of energy and ideas. I know it was worth the time it took me to take a break from my labors, and I look forward to my next outings. Now I just have to decide where to go.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
230. Do you need to recharge your batteries? Where can you go in your town that you haven’t been? It’s time to make a date with yourself or a friend—find new places to explore or visit old favorites. You’ll be glad you did.


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