When More Effort is Not the Answer
|Making changes to your work and your life often involves new perspectives and creative approaches. By building periods of mental relaxation into your day, you can help your brain to help you.
Focus and effort work for some types of problem. But for complex problems that require creativity and insight, quiet time is essential to help your brain function more effectively. Review your week to be sure it includes the mental relaxation that supports you to develop new insights.
|Career & Work Life Matters
Vol 2, no. 2
If you’ve ever been stuck while driving in the snow, you’ll know that just putting your foot down probably won’t get you where you want to go. The more you accelerate the more you begin to hear the sound of spinning wheels. Sometimes a little extra speed will move you forward. But often, you will sink more deeply into the snow. The extra acceleration makes the wheels spin faster, but you remain stuck. More effort isn’t always the answer.
What do you typically do when you are faced with a difficult problem? Do you respond by making more effort? You may spend more time at work and more time thinking about the problem. Do you end up taking work home and giving up any free time?
Many of the problems we face in our work and our life are complex and can’t be solved through easy choices. Over time, just doing more and more leads to exhaustion and burnout.
In a recent article in Training + Development, David Rock (of the NeuroLeadership Institute) highlights the importance of deliberately building quiet time into each day. Periods of mental relaxation are essential for solving complex problems because they support the way our brains work.
His research has shown that simple changes can lead to more creative problem solving. One key change is to include periods of mental relaxation in the day. As David Rock reminds us “our non-conscious processing resources are must larger than our conscious ones.” Are you benefiting from this brain power? Your brain needs a break to function effectively.
What can you do to support creative problem solving by building quiet time into your day? This may require developing some new habits and changing some old ones. Here are some questions to consider.
How will you give your brain a break? Share your comments below.