The problem seems to be, we no longer know how to think in a way that serves us best!
Our thinking is mostly superficial and under-utilised.
We have been functioning under the understanding that “giving your brain a timeout”, taking a break and ‘doing nothing’ mentally and physically where you “quieten the mind”, will create clarity in our thinking and therefore support our ability to be productive, and that just isn’t correct!
Straight-up – the reason why this isn’t correct is because, when it comes to anything that matters to you, the mind needs to first fully process it.
We actively process the information we receive from our senses. Fully processing it to learn it (to benefit our survival). The brain receives, considers, records, moulds and stores it.
That information is first briefly stored as sensory storage; then moved to the short term or working memory; at this stage, either forgotten or transferred to the long term memory.
And, to possess mental clarity means having a focused and clear state of mind. When we have mental clarity, the mind isn’t clouded with indecision, what-ifs, overwhelm or worry – and that can (only) happen when the mind has completed information processing.
When we take a break to do ‘nothing’, what actually happens, we shift out of superficial thinking (of continually moving our attention such as, repetitive tasks, multi-tasking, or flicking through Instagram posts because distractions keep the thinking processes on the surface level), we are free to naturally – deeply-ponder that which matters to us. Often, we are not aware that we are in deep thought or that we are are processing information. But we know that we feel clearer and more productive after a so called ‘break’!
A deeper level of thought allows the mind to think beyond beliefs, preconceived ideas and prevailing opinions to a more reflective and inquisitive approach, where thoughts are more meaningful and valuable. Also, a higher level of mindfulness is sustained and the level of concentration increased. Distractive thoughts can no longer derail your attention.
Having clarity and being productive starts with deep thinking!
Instead of seeking answers to your questions by Googling, instead go within and reflect upon your question with an inquiring mind.
Think about this: what is worse: failing or not trying? Did you have an immediate answer? That is superficial thinking. Now, get yourself into a deep thinking state by inquiring into the question. Really ponder it. What the meaning is for you and the impact this has on your life!
TRY this practice in all areas of your life, and let me know how you find it!