I’ve got a lot of projects and interests that I want to pursue but, ridiculous as this sounds, they keep slipping my mind and I find that my time is unproductive and frustrating. What’s going on?
I decided that the problem was too much buzzing around my brain, resulting in my feeling overwhelmed and paralysed. What to do about it?
I did a bit of research on brain overload, because that’s the best way to describe what I’m feeling.
There’s an interesting article on http://www.fastcompany.com entitled “4 ways to retrain your brain to handle information overload”. Their first suggestion is to write it down. Good advice, I think, because the ideas that flit in and out of my head are not as copious as I believe: they pass in and out and in and out so it seems that there are more than there actually are. Writing them down frees up brain space and stops that overwhelmed feeling.
Apparently, it is also important to make big decisions earlier in the day, the reason being that a small decision uses up as many brain resources as a large decision. Insignificant decisions, such as shall I have a coffee now or wait until I’ve finished this task, deplete the brain’s energy.
Another key strategy in preventing brain overload is to get organised. Yes, I know that, but I do tend to try and get tasks done rather than investing time in organising my physical environment to make life easier and free up time that is wasted looking for a misplaced item.
Finally, there’s the question of multitasking, a state that we think is desirable but which in reality makes us less efficient. It is far better to focus your attention on one task rather that switch from task to task, feeling busy and productive but operating in a state of inefficiency which results in brain fatigue.
Technology, whilst seeming to make our lives easier, can have the opposite effect if we allow it to control us. We fill every second of our time but that’s exhausting and increases the body’s production of the stress hormone, cortisol, and adrenaline so we’re ready for flight or fight. That’s no way to live.
Time to make a few changes, I think.
Note: I gave this my full attention, reading the articles and writing the post without allowing myself to be distracted by modern technology or any other demands. The result? I completed it much more quickly and with a greater feeling of satisfaction and calmness.
http://www.fastcompany.com “4 ways to retrain your brain to handle information overload”
http://www.theguardian.com “Why the modern world is bad for your brain” by Daniel J Levitin