Non-Work Related Activities Makes You Smarter

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How many times did you find a solution to a problem while being in the elevator, exercising, preparing a cup of coffee?

For me, this happened hundreds of times and, of course, still happening. Did you ever wonder why?


Basically, our brains work with two different modes: focused mode and diffuse mode. The focused mode, where you are entirely attentive and try to resolve a problem with full attention, so the brain in this mode directs the question or the issue to the area of the brain that supposed to have a solution. On the other hand, your brain in the diffuse mode passes the problem through different areas of the brain looking for a solution. Your brain scan through the neural network, looking for answers. so maybe the issue can be resolved with knowledge related to some other domains or experience you have, and the brain collects the puzzle pieces for you. The diffuse mode becomes active while exercising, reading, taking a walk, driving, listening to music, and, of course, sleeping.

Work burnout affects creativity and productivity as it minimizes the space for any other non-work related activities. The one who is working for long hours, and during the weekends consistently, become less productive, and less innovative. And of course, there’s nothing to do with compensation or motivation to get this fixed. The space to practice different non-work related activities let them be smarter, also, help them find creative solutions for severe problems.

I always love to discuss a non-work related topic during the weekly team meeting. This team activity strengthens the bond between the team, and also help us to get out of the context, so we allow our brains to find a way and find solutions to the difficult questions.

By encouraging your team to practice non-work related activities, you help them to be smarter, so they can help you and the organization to achieve the best outcome.

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