We all want to be at our cognitive best, to work at our best. But working dam hard is a waste of time if we don’t give ourselves the downtime to refresh our thinking.
Good quality sleep, regular exercise and healthy eating are a springboard many of us under-estimate for cognitive-load management. Poor-quality sleep is a major issue affecting cognition and performance.
Our over-busy brains find it hard to switch off. These on-line days we can tend to treat ourselves like machines. But that’s counter-productive to best-thinking. Multi-tasking compounds the problem – switching tasks saps far more mental energy than single-tasking. And it does not improve with practice like most brain functions.
Our brain is just not made for long-term focus. Chunking work into one-hour blocks with 15-minute breaks – when we’re not actively-focused on anything – preserves our energy and attention. And helps us learn new info much more effectively.
Cognitive-load management acknowledges that the human brain can be easy overwhelmed by a constant barrage of info. It’s one of the key 10 skills identified in the future work skills 2020 report. Author Jenny Brockis focuses on this issue in her website and book, Future Brain: the 12 keys to creating a high-performance brain.