You may also be one of those people who miss breaks or work overtime in the office because they want to be more productive.
Unfortunately, we have to disappoint you: working longer doesn’t mean you’re more productive. On the contrary.
Our brains need certain rhythms to work optimally. In order to develop those rhythms, we must first understand how the principle works. Because let’s be honest: how well do we know our brains?
“It’s important to understand that the brain always has rhythms and doesn’t work like a machine,” neuroscientist Henning Beck told Business Insider Deutschland.
The thinking triad for smarter thinking
To think smart, there are three work settings of your brain that are best addressed in turn. Beck calls it the ‘great triad of thought’. This consists of three phases:
- The focused and focused phase in which you concentrate on your environment or task.
- The phase of exchange, in which you take a step back and make contact with other people. “The opinions, knowledge and information of others gives you new perspectives.”
- The phase of emptiness. In this you do not have your head in a problem and you do not do things with others. Instead, relax or exercise. “When you get back to work on the problem, you come back with a higher degree of productivity.”
“This is what Beethoven did when he composed or Charles Dickens did when he wrote books,” explains the neuroscientist. “Brains are not machines. You can’t order things like you would from a factory. Your thoughts follow certain rhythms that you have to try to take into account in daily life.”
Your brain needs variety
It does not matter whether you follow a certain work rhythm or whether you are looking for a change in the spatial sense: it is important that you bring variety into your daily life. “The more uniform your work is, the more routine you have, the harder it is to solve a problem.
This may sound trivial, but a change of scenery can be very helpful in coming up with new ideas and tackling problems differently.
The idea that you change your environment to arrive at new insights is not new. Just look at the medieval cloister: in the middle you have a garden where you can relax. Around it is a corridor where you can talk and writing rooms to concentrate.
“Changing your environment is a simple trick that you can do yourself if you get stuck in your work,” says Beck. You can apply it everywhere: at home, at work, when you are visiting somewhere.
“When I go to another room, I think differently. Suddenly I see things in a different light,” explains the scientist.Working on a problem and getting stuck? An evening walk will help you sit at your desk for more than an hour.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider Deutschland.