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Mindful : June 2015
Three myths, three truths, and three ways to do things differently. Achieve More by Doing Less By Christine Carter 1 BUSYNESS = IMPORTANCE We so often wear our busyness as a badge of honor. We see our ability to withstand mounting levels of stress as a sign of character. BUSYNESS = COGNITIVE OVERLOAD An overloaded brain hinders per formance. It impairs our ability to think creatively, plan, organize, innovate, solve problems, make decisions, resist temptations, learn new things easily, speak fluently, remember impor tant social information (like the name of our boss’s daughter, or our daughter’s boss), and control our emotions. SINGLE-TASK Brains are not computers. They’re not designed to run on multiple tracks simultaneously. Switching back and for th makes us tired, less efficient, and error-prone. When we settle in, put distracting devices aside, and do one thing at a time, we worr y less about keeping up with time—and that’s the exact opposite of busy. MYTH TRUTH TURNAROUND 2 MORE IS BETTER We live in a more is more culture. We want a more prestigious job, more likes on Facebook, more enrichment activities for our kids, more work so we can earn more money so we can buy more stuff. OFTEN, LESS IS MORE When we step back from the lie that more is going to be better, we often find that we already have enough. FIND THE MINIMUM EFFECTIVE DOSE The “minimum effective dose” (MED) is the lowest dose of a pharmaceutical that spurs a clinically significant change in health or well-being. Look for the MED in ever ything: work, sleep, meditation, blogging frequency, checking email, school volunteering, homework help, date nights. MYTH TRUTH TURNAROUND 3 DOING NOTHING IS A WASTE OF TIME We do not like standing in line waiting for things or staring out the window before everyone has shown up for a meeting. That’s wasting time and time is money...and the only thing worse than wasting time is wasting money. OUR BRAINS BENEFIT WHEN WE WASTE TIME When we let our minds go...to daydream, to wander...an area of our brain turns on that’s responsible for creative insight. And our best work comes from those creative insights— the ones that happen in the shower! STARE INTO SPACE We feel uncomfor table with stillness, with downtime, so we cancel it out by becoming busy again. Instead of just staring out the window on the bus, we read our Facebook feed. We check our email in line at the grocer y store. Instead of enjoying our dinner, we shovel food in our mouths while staring at a screen. Give yourself the joy of just staring into space sometimes. What could possibly be easier to put into practice? MYTH TRUTH TURNAROUND