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How To Calm A Busy Mind (And Prevent Brain Burnout)

How do you calm a busy mind and prevent brain burnout? In this episode, I reveal how you can take a break with tips from Juliet Funt, the CEO of WhiteSpace at Work.

Jim Kwik

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How do you calm a busy mind and prevent burnout? WhiteSpace is the strategic pause between activities. It’s vital, open, fluid flexible time, and it’s the most endangered element of modern work because it’s the opposite of our relentless busyness. When we perform complex, cognitively intense tasks without giving our brains time to recuperate, we experience cognitive fatigue. This depletes our brain’s limited resources and negatively impacts performance. Research suggests that the only way to truly recover from cognitive depletion is by giving our brains a break.

WhiteSpace is an essential component of insightful problem-solving

  • This skill requires our brains to create connections between prior experiences and the problem at hand. This means your executive frontal lobes and the memory areas of your brain must communicate.
  • Communication between these areas is impaired by mental fatigue and chronic overload.

We are all becoming less and less comfortable with “the pause”, AKA the moments in our life and work that we allow to remain unfilled and ready for what might come

  • Men tolerate silence in conversation more easily than women but we’re all bad at it.
  • We have become too used to constant connection and seamlessly connected activities.
  • But when talented people don’t have time to think, life and business always inevitably suffers.

Whitespace is the strategic pause taken in between activities

  • It is open, flexible time, and a pause in your schedule but not mentally empty.
  • You already have WhiteSpace, but you must find it because it’s buried under junk.
  • Benefits of WhiteSpace include heightened creativity, improved execution, greater productivity, and more engagement.

In order to be a superhero, you don’t need an intrinsic superpower

  • Many superpowers had gap-closing creativity as their superpower (like Iron Man with his suits or Ant-Man with his Pym particle.)
  • But in order to find that creativity, the mind must talk to itself.
  • The memory center of the brain needs to connect past experiences to the current problem.
  • The executive frontal lobe communicates to the brain’s memory center.
  • BUT when we’re overloaded, the lines fizzle, communication gets cloudy, and we can’t make that transfer between executive frontal lobe and brain’s memory center.

Take out your calendar and answer one simple question: where can I find WhiteSpace tomorrow?

  • Schedule WhiteSpace and treat it as the most important time of your day.
  • WhiteSpace in your daily routine allows your frontal lobe to re-group and re-engage effectively.

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