Caroline Webb, recently published an article for McKinsey and Company. The title is enough to draw any leader in “How Small Shifts in Leadership Can Transform Team Dynamics”. In this study the author explores how by tapping into our knowledge about how the brain works we can actually increase our efficiency, effectiveness, performance and morale.
The focus is on optimal brain function and how our tendency towards multitasking is actually making people less creative, more stressed, and resulting in as many as four times as many mistakes. Yet the solution is quite straight forward…Webb writes that the antidote to so much disruption and multitasking is “if leaders can encourage people to go offline when doing their most important work, as well as taking more frequent breaks, they’ll see an uptick in productivity, innovation, and morale.”
One recommendation was to place a timer on your desk to signal time to take a break. One leader actually used a timer to take a 25 -45 minute break to go offline. This allowed his brain to focus and do an uninterrupted “deep working sessions”. He modeled this behavior with his team and actually bookended the work session with a short walk. Result…He got more done!
He reports…“It’s become a collective thing in the office now. And everyone’s decided that breaks are a legitimate use of time because we get so much more done afterward.”
So take a break this week and see what happens to your productivity, energy, effectiveness, and innovation. And keep telling yourself, I’m not wasting time…I’m optimizing the potential of my brain.