We are learning how to get top performance from our brains in the most efficient ways. Here is another topic I found interesting from the same interview with Dr Levitin that I posted on the previous blog.
“Taking breaks is really important. There is a reason that air traffic controllers are required to take them—they have a duty cycle of working for 60 to 120 minutes and then break for 15 to 30 minutes. It is law because it has been shown to work. You need to give your brain a chance to process and consolidate the information that it has been dealing with and reset itself. This is called the brain’s “day-dreaming mode,” when we are not actively engaged in a task but letting the brain process the information it has acquired.
Medscape: And often creative, innovative ideas are generated in this mode, correct?
Dr Levitin: Yes, much of our creative activity comes from there—the discovery of the benzene ring by August Kekulé, for example, and also Francis Crick’s dream about the double helix of DNA. I think it is why judges often take things under advisement. After all the facts are in, they will take a few days before they render a decision. It is giving them a chance to ruminate about what they’ve heard. It wouldn’t bother me if my doctor said to me, “We’re looking at some lab results, and I need some time to think about this.” I don’t want the doctor making a snap judgment, unless of course it’s an emergent situation. So depending on a clinician’s specialty, I think many could benefit from taking breaks and using the day-dreaming mode to their benefit.”