Get more results without doing anything: too good to be true! It is a common opinion that to achieve a goal it is necessary to concentrate to the maximum. To-do lists, planning to organize yourself, apps useful for this purpose, manuals that teach you how to do it, are just some of the conventional tools that make you believe that the more you focus on a project, the easier it will be to achieve your results. However, some recent studies have shown that too much concentration and too much work can be counterproductive.
If you don’t allow your mind to relax and get distracted, it will never get to the right conclusions: this is exactly what the esteemed South African neuropsychiatrist Srini Pillay says in his book The Power of Fooling Around. Because distraction makes us smarter, in which it expertly explains why it is important to alternate attention and leisure.
Having said that, what can we do in our moments of strategic leisure? Here are some tips presented by the https://www.stellarspins.com/en/ website.
How to solve a problem that seems to have no way out
Recent research has shown that putting the mind on standby, stopping to let one’s thoughts flow, and diverting attention from one’s activities, are ways to fuel creativity and strengthen one’s problem-solving ability. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Take breaks to relax your mind
- Scribble and color
- Take a nap
- Take a walk
- Diversify your businesses
- Change your workplace
1. Take breaks to relax your mind
You have probably already heard of the Pomodoro technique for effectively managing your time. It consists of dividing one’s work time into 25-minute intervals by inserting short breaks between one interval and another. To these breaks, add 15-20 minutes of mental leisure that allow you to relax your attention and arrive at more creative ideas, which is impossible if you always maintain the highest level of concentration.
So you could take the opportunity to do your laundry, take a shower, water the plants on the terrace … do not use this break to look at your mobile phone or to dedicate yourself to another activity that requires concentration, especially if you need to regain self-esteem. after a difficult time, or if you are about to take on difficult job challenges. Then use the breaks to relax your mind and unleash the problem-solving skills that will help you reach your goal.
2. Scribble or color
One study, available in English, subjected the participants to listen to a long and boring voice message (we all know what it means to listen to one …), and half of them were asked to scribble while listening, while the other half were only asked to listen. The “scribble group” showed that they understood and memorized the message much better than the other group.
Why does this happen? There is no absolute certainty, but scientists, including the aforementioned Srini Pillay, argue that the scribble is the last desperate attempt by our brain to maintain a minimum of attention without completely isolating itself.
Even coloring particularly helps mental leisure and it is no coincidence that lately in stationeries there are many coloring books designed specifically to stimulate the creativity of professionals.
3. Take a nap
There will be a reason why many international companies have installed the so-called “sleeping pods” in their offices, that is, real spaces in which to devote oneself to the art of naps. 5-15 minutes of sleep is enough to improve cognitive function over the next 3 hours, not to mention a 30-minute nap that can have even better effects, despite the dizziness you may feel for the first few minutes after waking up.
4. Take a walk
Walking is a lifesaver for creativity as well as health, and the benefits are greater if you walk outdoors instead of on a treadmill. Don’t like walking in crowded places? As an alternative to walking, you can find a quiet place and do some stretching: in fact, just move away from the desk and do some movement to reduce stress and increase concentration.
5. Diversify your businesses
As Pillay points out, trying new out-of-the-ordinary activities is very important. The trick is to try something new without having expectations about it, so without fear of making a mistake and feeling pressured.
Precisely in line with this concept, many problem-solving platforms have emerged that invite users to find solutions to problems that do not directly concern them, but that can help other companies willing to give cash rewards. One of them is InnoCentive and this article explains how it works.
6. Change your workplace
Have you ever needed to get away from your desk? Have you ever come across a blinking cursor and a blank page? Just a change of scenery is enough to give new impetus to your creativity and minimal changes are enough to make a difference.
“New ideas come from the interconnection of old ideas. That means you have to expose yourself to new stimuli, ”says Robert Epstein of the American Institute for Behavioral Research in this article. Changing the environment or the view from our window can lead to new thoughts and combinations of ideas never had before and it is precisely from here that new ideas are born.
Changing your workplace is not always easy and immediate, but you can find a fun alternative like the one offered by Window Swap, a website that shows for 10 minutes on your screen what other people see, based all over the world, from their window. So if you want to change your view, why not take a look at the views of Bangalore, Tokyo, or Amsterdam?
The power of inattention
It has happened to everyone to get trapped in the routine and struggle to reach the set goals, always running into the same problems. If this happens to you again, remember that what you need to do is… nothing. Let your mind rest for a moment and you will see that you will be able to free yourself from complicated situations in no time at all.
What’s your favorite mental recreation technique? Share your advice with the Jimdo community on Facebook and Instagram and you could help a professional like you solve his next problem.