Some great advice from Srini Pillay, M.D. on how to be more productive at work; try focusing less and scheduling in some time for a specific kind of daydreaming.
“Excessive focus exhausts the focus circuits in your brain,” Pillay writes, pointing to studies showing that type of focus drains us of valuable mental energy. As a result, we become more impulsive, less collaborative and generally worse at making decisions. While both focus and what Pillay calls “unfocus” are important skills, he argues that the “brain operates optimally when it toggles between focus and unfocus,” allowing us to be more creative, make better decisions and develop resiliency. One way Pillay suggests we unfocus is to practice something called “positive constructive daydreaming.” Positive constructive daydreaming is like a more deliberate way of spacing out. The idea is that you purposefully let your mind-wander to “boost your creativity, strengthen your leadership ability and re-energize the brain,” he writes.