Skip to main content

Feeling Overworked and Burned-Out? Use It!

It turns out that mental exhaustion from overwork can unleash creativity. 

Mental exhaustion, according to a recent study by RĂ©mi Radel at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, leads to a reduction in mental inhibition.  

Although inhibition is essential for day-to-day activities such as problem-solving and focusing on tasks, it stifles creative thinking by "gating out eccentric thoughts and ideas." 

Uninhibited minds, on the other hand, can unleash our creative genius. This according to an article in Scientific American by Madhuvanthi Kannan, a postdoctoral researcher of neurobiology at Yale University. "Overworking Your Brain."

“Creative people can turn down the volume of inhibition to let novel ideas inspire them, and then, turn the volume back up to put their ideas to meaningful use.”

We spend most of our day creating and enforcing barriers to distractions and attempting to avoid task saturation. At some point, it’s ok to just surrender.

Never waste a good burn out; use it to unlock your innovation and creativity.

What is it about water?

Archimedes discovered his "Eureka" moment in a bathtub. For many of us, including me, creativity is unleashed early in the morning, in the shower.  A similar elimination of inhibition is involved; in this case our minds have not yet built up our day's inhibition barriers.

And, studies indicate that it's not the water it's the floatation; it involves letting your thoughts float without inhibition; in psychology this is known as fixation forgetting. Per Benjamin Storm and Genna Angello, authors of "Overcoming Fixation;" To “think outside the box,” one must forget what is “inside the box.”

Looking for that next "big idea?"

Are you a designer, writer, salesperson, systems engineer or simply preparing for your next big presentation or interview?  Burned out, meditating or standing in the shower may be a good start.  Lose your inhibitions and distractions and open your mind.

Please let me know what thoughts fill that space... and get some rest.

(c) 2015, David J. Katz - New York City

Popular posts from this blog

Taking Tips From a Younger Generation

Phyllis Korkki, an assignment editor at The New York Times, visited the garment district in Manhattan to interview designers as part of a story for the newspaper’s Snapchat account. Credit George Etheredge/The New York Times
What Could I Possibly Learn From A Mentor Half My Age? Plenty.

How on earth did I become an “older worker?”

It was only a few years ago, it seems, that I set out to climb the ladder in my chosen field. That field happens to be journalism, but it shares many attributes with countless other workplaces. For instance, back when I was one of the youngest people in the room, I was helped by experienced elders who taught me the ropes.

Now, shockingly, I’m one of the elders. And I’ve watched my industry undergo significant change. That’s why I recently went searching for a young mentor — yes, a younger colleague to mentor me.

Discounts, Discovery & Delight: 3Ds for Retail Success

In fashion and retail, Dopamine is the drug of choice. Technically, Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of “desire.” Dopamine leaps across synapses in our brain to control our reward and pleasure centers. It enables craving. It induces repeat behaviors. It makes us want more. Therefore, it is in our best interest to create products and experiences which induce the release of dopamine in our consumers. We could use some dopamine for ourselves, too. In our fashion and retail world, there are three primary stimuli, "3Ds," we can control to deliver hits of dopamine: Discounts, Discovery and Delight.

Beware of Wombats & Other Vampires

You are surrounded by dangerous WOMBATS. They’re everywhere. Sometimes they hide in plain sight, easy to spot. Other times they are well camouflaged, requiring heightened awareness to identify them. You need to stay alert, it’s important to avoid them. WOMBATs resemble ordinary, productive tasks. However, they are vampires for time and resources, weapons of mass distraction.WOMBATs are seductive. Working on a WOMBAT feels productive.WOMBATs are bad for your career.WOMBATs are bad for your business.WOMBATs infiltrate your work day (and your personal time). Strike them down.WOMBATs may be be ingrained in your company culture: “We’ve always done it that way…” WOMBAT Metamorphosis Alert: A task or project that wasproductive in the pastcanevolve into a WOMBAT in today's environment.Your comfort zone is populated with WOMBATs.More on comfort zones, here.Some people are WOMBATs in disguise. Stay away from them, they are vampire WOMBATs.If you don’t control your WOMBATs, your WOMBATs will…