Never in history has the human brain been asked to track so many data points. This overloading of the brain’s circuits is the primary reason that smart people are underperforming at work. We’re simply expecting more of our brains than they have the energy to handle.
It’s impossible for any worker to engage in eight hours or more of controlled attention and meet any reasonable expectations for either quality or quantity outputs. Brains get tired easily, and trying to multitask attention is counterproductive and stressful. Although mindfulness is a proven way to strengthen brain functioning, most workplaces lack adequate support for regenerative activities.
The way to increase productivity and creativity is not about always trying to do more focused work or put in more hours, conclude Steelcase researchers. Instead, it’s about getting smarter about the brain, learning its limitations as well as how to leverage it to full capacity to direct our attention, and inspire and challenge us in different ways throughout the workday.
(Source: Steelcase Study)