As someone who now finds himself in a position of having to create, as well as consume, somewhat interesting content on a daily basis, I certainly believe that downtime is KEY to preventing total burnout.
From the New York Times’ “Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime“…
The technology makes the tiniest windows of time entertaining, and potentially productive. But scientists point to an unanticipated side effect: when people keep their brains busy with digital input, they are forfeiting downtime that could allow them to better learn and remember information, or come up with new ideas.
…“Almost certainly, downtime lets the brain go over experiences it’s had, solidify them and turn them into permanent long-term memories,” said Loren Frank, assistant professor in the department of physiology at the university, where he specializes in learning and memory. He said he believed that when the brain was constantly stimulated, “you prevent this learning process.”
I can certainly see how information CONSUMPTION burnout is more subversive – and thus perhaps more dangerous – than CREATION burnout, since when you’re writing and you burnout, you know because your writing sucks or is non-existent. The symptoms of consumption burnout manifest more along the lines of yelling at the dog for no apparent reason or just giving up and going out to dinner AGAIN because that damn whole chicken in the fridge refuses to cut itself up.
And now that I’ve established myself as the arbiter of “having it all figured out”, I’ll gladly point out that I you really shouldn’t really listen to any of my advise, because my memory has been really terrible lately.