No, I’m not referring to the chain restaurant known for having real fingers in their chicken fingers. I am of course referring to the wonderful day that for many of us signals the end of a seemingly endless work week. For many of us Fridays also bring on the medical phenomena known as Vacation Brain.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition: “Vacation Brain is a condition marked by a lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating and staying on task, frequent and lengthy bouts of undirected speech, and sometimes extreme silliness. The symptoms mimic those of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and most often occur in the days and hours prior to leaving for an extended vacation. Often less acute symptoms of this disorder occur on Friday afternoons.”
In laymens terms, Vacation Brain is when your brain has already quit work for the week in anticipation of the time off. I am a chronic sufferer of Vacation Brain. In fact, I have a handicapped parking pass due to the severity of my condition. That allows me to flee to my car, which is parked just outside the doors, that much quicker in my haste to start the weekend. Vacation Brain is the reason many of my posts get written at work and e-mailed home.
Vacation Brain is also the reason many, many wonderful things happen every Friday afternoon in offices and workplaces across the world. What wonderful things you ask? Invented office games, internet surfing, getting together in a co-workers office or cubicle to talk aimlessly, and a lot of feeding of office fish. In fact, studies show that up to 85% of office affairs began on Friday afternoons. What do you do when you have Vacation Brain?
*Dear American Psychiatric Association, Yes, I made up Vacation Brain. Please have a sense of humor and do not sue me for using the name of the DSM IV. Consider it free advertising. I have a copy. I’m a big fan.