Is your brain constantly thinking and won’t stop? Just like sleep revives the body, the brain requires rest as well. Without rest a brain can spiral, fatigue and make decision-making difficult — all which cause stress. Being able to prescribe your brain time to rest is crucial for constant development and success.
Nancy Duarte, principal at Duarte Design gives tips to quiet the extra voice in your head (the monkey on your back). Duarte is a global leader behind influential presentations.
Duarte suggests interspersing time blocks of research and reflection over the course of the workweek. The combination of the two results in a state of flow gets the mental and creative juices flowing. When in this space, time fades away. The third piece of the equation is stepping away from the traditional work environment to cause breakthroughs. Nancy focuses on using the weekend to gain perspective on the week as a whole with the goal of connecting the dots between working blocks of time.
Taking a broader perspective allows one to see connections between different topics and gain insights. With practice, you can train your brain to seek out breakthroughs.
Where do you go to step away to rejuvenate and give your brain a rest? Callosum suggests fresh air. Going on a several hour hike allows your brain time to wind down, reboot and then wind up to a breakthrough. We also use the same process for mid-week or midday breaks to refresh or solve creative/mental blocks.
Can’t hike? Alternate suggestions:
- 20 minute power nap: Technology off. Lay down. Set a timer. Close your eyes. Over time your brain will slow & reset, similar to rebooting a computer. You’ll wake refreshed.
- City ideas: Botanical garden, top of skyscraper, Zoo butterfly room, park. Find quiet places that provide visual stimulation and serenity.
- Create an escape plan: Pre-plan destinations, directions, and tickets for when you have unexpected down time in a radiating pattern. For example: You have 1 hr, half-day, one-day, weekend free. Where do you go? The pre-planning document, allows when the opportunity arises, to get into action immediately versus spending time planning. If you don’t pre-plan… poof the time is gone before you step out the door. (Credit: Courtney Parks Coaching)
At first your brain will be all over the place. Continue to reflect on your past week, thinking of what went well and what could have been better. Soon your brain will quiet down until it is silent. This state of mind takes practice. Be patient with yourself.
Callosum believes self-awareness is a cornerstone to happiness and effectiveness in our daily lives. Be present, be rested and be aware of what works best for you. Align your rest with your values, choose a workplace which inspires you, and nurture a life outside of work which rejuvenates you.
Share with us your prescription for resting your brain!
(Read Nancy’s article of account of inspiration and method of resting the brain)
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