What’s Trending in the World of Work: The Power of the Brain
Our brains are workhorses. They fuel our creativity, ability to function, our emotions, and many other components of who we are and how we operate. The summer is a prime time to focus on giving our brains time to restore and revitalize, whether through engaging in new activities or taking a moment to slow down.
Here are three noteworthy articles that explore our brain’s performance, creativity, and happiness:
Neuroscientist: Skip breakfast sometimes and 2 other simple tips to boost your brain performance | CNBC
The summer is a time to hit the reset button. Many take vacations to catch up on sleep, explore new areas to spark their curiosity, and spend time outdoors. Neuroscientist Rahul Jandial has three tips to help unlock neurofitness—tips that you can carry with you throughout the year:
- Practice intermittent fasting twice a week (that’s no breakfast) to boost cognitive performance
- Engage in deep breathing to boost efficiency and improve decision-making
- Walk and stand (get off your chair) to improve neural communications
Why we like it: It’s easy to think that we need to rehaul our lives to be healthier, happier, and more productive, but Jandial shares three small changes we can make to reach peak brain performance.
Coming back from burnout: How to recharge your creativity and get your ideas flowing again | RescueTime
Psychologist Wilmar Schaufeli astutely notes: “As a metaphor for the draining of energy, burnout refers to the smothering of a fire or the extinguishing of a candle. It implies that once a fire was burning, but the fire cannot continue burning brightly unless there are sufficient resources that keep being replenished.”
Whether you’re a creative or entrepreneur, it’s important to know your own limitations, find an unrelated activity to re-ignite your creativity, and add more things to your life that make you feel whole.
Why we like it: When creative burnout strikes, it can be tough to recover and rediscover your creative juices. That’s one of the reasons why recognizing when burnout is looming and you need a break is so vital to staying productive and adding creative ideas.
The Yale Happiness Class, Distilled | The Atlantic
From The Science of Happiness podcast to books like The Happiness Project, we are surrounded by media intended to help us achieve peak happiness. Reading and listening to these resources is where many land, but Yale University’s “Psychology and the Good Life” class takes it one step further.
Laurie Santos, a psychology professor who teaches the course, shares two core insights:
- When we first get or achieve something (whether it’s a new house or project), we experience a feeling of elation; but over time that excitement fades. This is what psychologists call “hedonic adaptation.” The recommendation? Buy experiences, not things, as the memories and benefits last longer; and take time to appreciate what you already have.
- We compare what we have to others, rather than thinking about whether it fulfills us. And often we’re comparing to those who are doing better or have more. Santos recommends forcing ourselves to live without a luxury, say air conditioning for one night in the summer, to truly appreciate the small things.
Why we like it: It’s easy to get absorbed in the day to day without pausing to appreciate what we have, whether it’s someone we work with or the simple pleasure of a cup of warm coffee. The summer is the perfect time to slow down and reflect on what we have.
What recent articles about the future of work have inspired you? Share them and how they influenced you in the comments section below.
Courtney Buchanan is the content marketing manager at Upwork. By guiding the editorial strategy, she highlights important trends impacting the future of work and the freelance economy.View Courtney Buchanan’s other articles