Your brain can’t do “always-on”. Here’s how and why you need to recharge your brain at work.
Productivity Hacking: The Side Effects
Human productivity has become the cornerstone of modern society. Can you do more, faster, with less sleep, while looking like you are taking it all in your stride? Of course, you can. We all know someone who seems to be doing it, nailing everything.
The impact of productivity hacking and hustling for greatness has many side effects. Being ‘always-on’ contributes to the breakdown of human connections and leads to resistance of our inner guidance. Hustling is the cause of that constant murmur of anxiety lurking beneath the surface.
Productivity is something that we all strive towards but checking in with your daily purpose is a pre-requisite. Before downloading the latest sleep tracking device, ask yourself if it is a generous act of self-care? Or are you pushing yourself ever closer to robotic performance levels?
It may take minimal effort to type or speak into a device and ask for the answer to your latest burning question, but… how about pondering the subject with a friend instead?
Maintain a Healthy Mind
As humans, we are wired to create, to ponder, to solve problems and to connect with one another. It’s the space to wonder that brings our creative insights. And although the digital world around us is rapidly changing, the human brain isn’t. Maintaining a healthy mind requires a good diet, enough sleep, a healthy heart, social connections and mindfulness.
The good news is there is no app, or book, or podcast with all the answers. Your mind doesn’t need the latest upgrades and isn’t designed to be always-on. It’s our imperfections and innate curiosity that binds us together as humans.
Give Your Brain A Reboot
The human mind operates in two modes, conceptual and perceptual. Your conceptual mind deals with words, concepts, conflicts and problem-solving activities. The kind of things that use up a lot of mental energy.
Your perceptual mind is more about “being” than doing. Here you enter a state of being in which what you are experiencing becomes more important. You use up much less energy and you restore focus and resilience. If you don’t go here from time to time you feel mentally drained. Even when you take a break from work to have a quick gander on Instagram, or to read the news, you are still in conceptual mode. You are still plugged in.
Therefore, it’s important to intentionally switch from the constant state of “doing” into the state of “being”. Do you find yourself thinking about the next task at hand even during your lunch break or day off? If so, it’s time to start taking some more analog breaks, intentional breaks away from your digital day-to-day.
Take (Analog) Breaks
Meditation works a charm, but even mindfully eating your lunch or going outside for a walk — without listening to a podcast — will switch your brain into a perceptual mode. From here ideas, insights, wisdom and wonder will actually help with your productivity more than the constant hustle would.
Let the next question to your device be; “Hey Google, is there a nice place to walk near the office?”
The unrelenting race towards bigger knowledge bombs, stronger coffee and automated-everything continues. It’s not going to slow down. Is it time to (re) define what productivity means to you?