Every activity we do uses a different set of cognitive resources. Sending an email uses one set of cognitive resources. Reading a report uses another.
The more tasks you try to do at any given time, the more cognitive energy you burn. 🤯
Another overconsumer of brain fuel is over focusing.
"Unfocusing" your mind, or purposefully letting it wander, is key to improving focus overall. The brain does its best work when it's allowed to toggle between focus and unfocus.
👇 Which leads us to 6 tips to find your flow:
Schedule into every workday some breaks from all that focusing and allow your mind to travel into what's called the "default mode network" for a bit of freestyle riffing.
It's the place where our minds find innovation and creativity and often make better decisions than the focused mind. 😌
Try traveling with your mind to someplace enjoyable — maybe it's a stroll through an imaginary forest or sunbathing on a warm, sandy beach. Pair your daydreaming with some form of low-key activity such as walking, knitting, gardening.
Doing so — especially when working hard on a project — will help to open up the brain's "default mode network." 😇
When distracting interruptions are shut off, our brains get a chance to complete full sentences of thought. Your important work benefits when you shut off or put away your phone and other screens. 📴
Then, plan a time to respond — after you've completed a period of sustained focus.
Are you a lark who is sharp and alert in the morning? Or is night owl more your style? 🦉 Schedule your most important projects during your brain's periods of peak performance.
Resist the temptation to spend your day — in particular your peak brain hours — doing busywork. Instead, reserve your best brain time for the big stuff.
Dabbling in hobbies not only is fun but can help us come up with new solutions to problems we're facing at work or home. Allowing your mind time to play is another way to invite innovation in ways that focusing doesn't. 🎨
Taking a digital sabbath — intentionally setting aside time to rest from your screens and all their interruptions — offers an important benefit.
It reminds us there's a world outside our screens, helping us to reset and think about what's really important. 🤔
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