Karen Leland’s recent article in Chief Learning Office Magazine entitled The Time-Literate Organization is relevant to anyone who touches digital media today. In previous posts I have described how multi-tasking is actually a brain productivity killer. As a serial processing system, the brain is not designed to do two things at once. In the article, Karen cites some important statistics:
Years ago, our founder Ned Herrmann proposed that gender-balanced, heterogeneous teams would be more creative and effective. At the time, this idea seemed reasonable to most, but was challenged by others who felt it was perhaps too politically correct and difficult to prove. At last there is research, published this week in Science Daily, that substantiates this premise.
Hyper-thinking- App or trap?
How much of your day do you spend hyper-thinking?
Typical symptoms include:
- You cannot resist the urge to click through your e-mail links meaning your e-mail time expands exponentially
- You suddenly realize you have spent the last hour clicking through site after site (and are not sure where you started )
- You feel secretly a little disappointed when you see no new messages in your mailbox
- Your favorites list is a veritable library (without the Dewey Decimal system!)
- You find your self twitching to tweet or text.
As spring begins to slowly emerge, I am reminded of the natural desire to do “spring cleaning.” We may do that for our homes, our closets or our offices, but do we do that for our minds?
Research on learning has shown that we need to clear some space to allow for new learning to occur. “Much of what we learn in a day, we don't really need to remember,” Chiara Cirelli, of the Center for Sleep and Consciousness says. “If you've used up all the space, you can't learn more before you clean out the junk that is filling up your brain.”
I know I have experienced that feeling of “my brain is full.” It happens even faster on a day when I am sleep deprived. There is a reason for that: Once again, sleep is one critical ingredient to our ability to refresh and renew our “learning space.” Many have shared with me that a full brain actually prevents them from sleeping, which just perpetuates the cycle.
Stress. It’s hard to avoid in tough times. How you manage that stress, though, is up to you. Get a handle on it instead of letting it control your thinking.
Tip 3: It’s Your Stress, Baby! Stress impedes our brain’s growth and slows the recovery of our immune system (6 minutes stress = 6 hours recovery from it, Leonard Ingram – Anger Institute of Chicago). Own your stress to keep your Whole Brain® working for you.
Tip 2: Be Mindful vs. Mind-full: While it may seem like the fastest way to results, multitasking has actually been proven to decrease our effectiveness. We can experience up to 50% loss in productivity and a 50% increase in error rates when we multitask.
If you’re like most of us, your brain is full right now. Everyone I talk to says they’re trying to do more with less while getting more productive and more innovative at the same time. We know we have to do it, but are we using our thinking to our advantage, or is it actually standing in the way of where we want to go? Over the next several posts, I’ll address some of the ways you can take control in tough times with better thinking.