(flickr source: noloran)
Utilizing our mind-power, or for that matter even our physical body, is much like driving manual shift car. Neither can you always drive in first gear, nor can you always drive in top gear. Let me explain using a few points (like I always do). For some reason, my brain thinks always in bullet points (my wife makes fun of me for this always!).
- You can get the max power when you are in first gear. Driving up a hill, passing a truck, … But you cannot keep in this gear all the time. Your engine can get stressed out. Is this not true with your brain as well? You can be in full-throttle for some time (maybe a few hours), but then you have to shift down and start cruising.
- Cruising in top gear does give you maximum fuel efficiency. I relate this to the zone. When you put enough enthusiasm (see above) and get to the zone, you then cruise off by finishing your task quickly. Do you realize how when after you get your task done fully in the zone, you are still fresh and not tired?
- At the same time, cruising in top gear is always not a good thing. You do need to shift up when you need to pass the next truck, or round the next bend, or maybe negotiate the next gradient. I relate these to the distractions and the times, when your brain starts to sag down a little bit. These are the when you need to throttle up and put on more power (in the form of enthusiasm) to get you back into the zone, so that you can shift down and continue cruising.
So when you next focus on your next high priority task, remember to shift down and up your gears so as to get max productivity.