Brain is like a fitness

Can’t believe it’s 5 AM.

I never thought I will voluntarily set the alarm clock so early. Not after my lifelong hobby of staying up late and yesterday’s fail with lack of sleep and unclarity of thoughts.

But this guy, Benjamin Hardy, has changed how I percieve waking up. His ideas are neither world-shaking nor brand new, but his article caught me at the right state of mind. So I thought I will give it a try.

How many hours do we REALLY need to work?

Although some people are working 15+ daily hours, most of us are used to “regular” 8 hours a day. But there’s this idea presented by several A+ class entrepreneurs:

What if we could squeeze all the creative work from our regular working time to just 3 to 5 hours per day?

In fact, we can. And it’s not as hard as it looks. Just try to think of brain as a muscle doing workout.

The scientists have recently proven that shorter, high-intensity exercise is more effective than the longer one.

So, if you want to have the best fitness results, focus on short intense workouts and make sure to rest and recover accordingly. The latter ones are especially important as most of the muscle growth actually comes after the workout, not during the process.

Why am I talking about fitness?

Because that is a perfect example of a mental model applicable for creative process. As Benjamin Hardy writes:

The best work happens in short intensive spurts.

The question remains — is it possible to squeeze the whole working day into short time blocks? Absolutely yes. How short are they supposed to be? For undisturbed deep work, Cal Newport suggests to split the task into maximum of one to three hours without any distractions.

So the same concept applies here as in high-intensity workout. Only the duration is a bit longer.

What about the rest?

When your brain recovers, that’s when the magic happens.

According to this study, only 16 percent of employees claim they got their best ideas while at work. 16 percent! Such a waste of time for all the social media marketers, designers, writers..

Just try to imagine what it would be like if the remaining 84 percent would be creative at work as well. Would the humankind finally solve world’s poverty? Maybe. But life does not work that way.

People simply don’t get creative when they are sitting in front of their monitor or taking notes at the meeting. They get creative when they are exposed to external stimuli from their environment.

Has it ever happened to you that you got THAT IDEA while travelling or walking in the nature?

If not, you should stop working when you’re not working. And then let the magic happens ..

This article is the part of my creative writing challenge. 30 days. 30 posts. At the worst possible time. Follow me to find out more.