How To Boost Your Brain By Writing Things Down
In his life-changing book Getting Things Done, productivity champion David Allen gives a crucial tip for better organisation in the workplace: stop using your brain as a storage device. Your brain is not a place where you should store lots of information. It is a thinking device.
Almost every minute, we’re bombarded with new tasks and requests from our personal and professional lives. By stuffing our heads with information about unfinished assignments, appointments, and other random requests, we’re squandering our brain’s capacity to think. This leads to the inability to concentrate properly on our actual work.
Your brain is not a storage device, it is a thinking device.
In order to free up room in your brain, Allen suggests that you should write down all tasks on a list — what he calls a collection bucket.
By writing everything down, you won’t forget necessary tasks but you will have space in your brain to focus on the work at hand and to ruminate on important ideas that will propel you down the path to success.
After all, as Devora Zack explains in her book Singletasking, our brains did not evolve to multitask. In fact, multitasking can be detrimental not only to our productivity but also to our health. That is why it is crucial that you develop and use a collection bucket system.
Our brains did not evolve to multitask.
Finally, between focused work and singletasking, make sure you give your brain plenty of time to rest. In 7 Habits Of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey explains that you need to sharpen the saw if you want to keep sawing.
This means that, rather than expend lots of energy at your desk for 12 hours a day, you need to take time away from work to rest. Just as there is no point sawing with a blunt saw, it is a bad idea to continue to work on a project when you are feeling too tired to have effective impact. Go home, sleep, sharpen your saw, and come back the next day rejuvenated!
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