(And whether the article is correct in its assessment of the Tsipras government is secondary here)
If you want to create space for unconscious thought, you need to give yourself permission to let go of consciously thinking about the problem you’re trying to solve. A great way to do this is to literally tell yourself, "I’m going to stop thinking about this for now," and then go do something else.
2. MOVE YOUR BODY
If that something else involves moving your body, you’re much more likely to come up with fresh insights and ideas on how to solve your problem. Movement leverages the mind-body connection to give a rest to the part of your brain—the prefrontal cortex—where all of the big-time decision-making and analysis goes on. When you come back to your desk after a walk, a workout, or five to 10 minutes of stretching, you’ll be not just physically but also mentally refreshed and renewed.
3. CHANGE IT UP
Encourage unconscious thought by changing up your work environment or routines. Take a morning to work from home at your dining room table. Go to a coffee shop to create a little space for some midafternoon mental downtime. Bring a colleague along for a walk while you do some brainstorming together or just take some time to catch up on what’s new with each other. Any of these change-ups or others that work for you give your brain an opportunity to unconsciously think about things other than the immediate problem at hand.
4. BLOCK IT OUT
If your calendar is racked and stacked with back-to-back meetings and conversations all day long, you’re not leaving much time for unconscious thought. Take back some control by blocking out at least one 90-minute chunk on your calendar each week for unconscious thought time. Protect it and when the time comes use one or more of the first three tips to optimize the time.
5. SLEEP ON IT
Have you ever gone to bed mulling over a tough problem and woken up the next morning with a clear picture of how to proceed? If you have, your brain was working and making neural connections while you slept that helped you solve the problem.
Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco found that 95% of people need at least seven hours of sleep a night to function at their creative best. If you think you can get by with less, then you’re in the 5% of the population that has a rare genetic mutation that enables you to do so. Odds are that you’re not in that group. If you want to be more creative and innovative, give your brain the ultimate opportunity for unconscious thought and get a good night’s sleep.
"I’m also curious about whether there is a fundamental mathematical law underlying human social relationships that governs the balance of who and what we all care about. I bet there is."
It’s not hard to understand the source of Zuckerberg’s misperception. Human beings, like ants or chickens, share a certain bundle of tendencies, a certain nature, and if you analyze our behavior statistically that nature will evidence itself in mathematical regularities. Zuckerberg is hardly the first to confuse the measurement of a phenomenon with the cause of the phenomenon. If some amount of data reveals a pattern, then, surely, more data will reveal “a fundamental mathematical law.”
Is there really an algorithmic explanation for the cause of our behavior; is that the way things actually work inside us, or is it just something we reflect back to ourselves when we look at ourselves with our computational tools?
The New Behavioralism
- Teaching Psychology, German and Theory of Knowledgepresent
- Deutsche Schule TokyoHigh School
- RWTH AachenUniversity
- University of BonnMasters Degree, German Literature
- University of OsloPsychology
- University of BodøMultimedia journalism, 2011
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