A working bath is totally a real thing

2nd October 2013    

Once or twice a week in our house, the same argument occurs. It goes a bit like this.

Me: “I’m going for a working bath, you need the bathroom first?”

Boyfriend: “No thanks. And that’s not a thing.”

Me: <general rant about how a working bath is totally a real thing>

Boyfriend: <disbelieving sigh>

Now, he can’t be blamed. While we’re in broadly the same industry and there are many parallels between our jobs, I am a free and joyous freelancer while he works in a soul-sucking agency job for The Man. If he tried to take a bath in the middle of a work day he’d return to at least 7 angry phone calls from people who were lost without him. If I take a bath in the middle of the day, I tell clients “I’ll email you again later” and that’s that.

So what the hell is a working bath? Well, imagine the scene. You’re sitting there at your desk, staring at the same problem you’ve been staring at for the last 40 minutes. You’ve exhaused all the possible fixes you can think of, and you can’t get on with much else until this is done. You now have two options:

  1. Continue staring
  2. Something else

I will always choose something else, and it’s often a bath. Why? Well apart from the obvious fact that baths are awesome, I find that lying back among the bubbles with my notebook lets my mind relax and come up with things it never would otherwise. I’ll write down some insights, wash my hair, and get back to work with the added bonus of being clean and warm and smelling nice (and yeah, ok, possibly now being in my pjyamas).

This all sounds terribly unprofessional, I’m sure, but it’s a commonly known fact that distracting yourself lets your subconscious work out problems that your conscious mind can’t figure out. Why not use a bath as that distraction? I can’t be the only person who gets more done if they’re able to step back for half an hour at a time and do something else when they’re making no progress anyway.

Basically it comes down to this. If you were paying me hourly, would you rather pay me for one hour to get something done, or pay me for ten minutes to implement something that my subconscious worked out on its own while I was in the bath?

Yeah, I thought so.

Categories: Rants & Rambling

  • 19th October 2013

    you are right –
    most of the time it would be really the right thing to just step back an do something different – take a walk in the forest or filed if possible – or just lean back on your sofa and relax while hearing a nice song….
    after this you can get back to work – and you will be much faster in solving the thing 🙂
    i dont know why in our community there is this idea of ‘work without break’ – if you have the time to regenerate yourself from time to time you have much more energy for the things you work on! and in general you will be much healthy..

    sunny greetings

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