Productive cognitive load: make the most of your working memory
The limited amount of load we can take on our working memory, which functions like computer RAM, is called the cognitive load.
Miller's Law states that we need to limit our cognitive loads and hold on to approximately seven number of objects at a given time.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
CLT identifies our minds as information processing systems.
When we work on an unfamiliar task, we depend on our "working memory". It is limited in its capacity and period of time it holds information. The less familiar you are with a task, the more you depend on your working memory. However, when you are familiar with a job, you can complete it on auto-pilot.
Your working memory capacity can be overloaded in three ways, making you feel mentally drained:
Most leaders have familiar approaches to managing time: setting goals, planning, delegating, tracking commitments, and creating to-do lists. While these approaches do help in self-organization, they are not adequate in helping achieve high levels of sustainable, long-term performance.
The challenge is to have a fast-paced occupation while avoiding burnout, slippage, and sub-optimal performance.
Instead of increasing the number of productive hours, we can focus on getting the right things done in a timely way. We also need to restore and balance ourselves, our colleagues, family and environment, instead of a neurotic or pathological focus on deadlines.
Find out what's truly important to us and use the finite resource of time wisely.
Phantom workload looks like real work but results in massive unproductivity and even conflict in an organization. The pressure to meet unrealistic expectations causes a vicious cycle of further workload.
Leaders need to take a hard look at what is being avoided or not addressed. Facing difficult tasks that were 'swept under the carpet' earlier strengthens them further to make hard decisions and face difficult people and situations.
Research shows that people with more education have a greater cognitive reserve and this works as a protection in the face of mental decline.
But there's a twist to it: educated people tend to get Alzheimer's at a later age but once they get it, they're getting it at a higher load of the disease and appear to decline at a faster rate.
Cognitive activities like crossword puzzles, reading or playing music may delay memory decline among people who eventually developed dementia.
It happens when a person is in a situation where they are anxious that they may conform to a negative stereotype aimed at his or her social group.
Positive stereotypes, or success on previous memory tasks, can help combat this negativity.