We are humans, not machines!
Well…duh, you might say! Of course we are not machines! We know what!
But actually our brains operate a little like computers.
Here is the thing about cognitive work where you have to think, consider options and make decisions. It all depends on the available energy.
Energy = focus.
And even in the case of physical labour - it is still cognitive work because no matter if you are moving a mouse on a desk or swinging a hammer - you are constantly making calculations.
It may seem that that risk from miscalculations is higher in the physical labour job, but actually it may be even greater when you consider making a mistake on a big business deal and not knowing outcome for weeks or even months, and potential for disaster haunting you causing an extensive stress.
So you want to make sure you are the most focused during those times when you are engaged in a task that may produce variations down the road, so you can make best calculations,
When we make decisions, we prefer to use our past experience in order to predict the future outcome and act based on that information.
It all comes down to energy available for that activity in the brain.
If the process is fairly standard and we have a lot of previous scenarios to rely on - our processing ability is much higher and speed is faster. Even if we are low on energy - we will be able to calculate.
When we are faced with something that we have little experience doing - it will require us searching for more past examples in order to decide how to proceed. This will require the higher amount of energy.
In the end - it all comes down to how much energy is required to make a certain decision and how much energy we have in the brain/body.
There is chemistry, electricity and brainwaves are at play here.
Last nights’ sleep, level of fitness, how much energy is diverted to maintaining immune system, what is the nutrients balance - all of those components and more will affect our decision-making ability.
We usually notice when we are not at the top of our mental game, but we have very little ways to describe it and even less tools on how to improve it.
I think it is imperative for us to know that just because we are sitting in front of the computer for 8 hrs per day - does not mean we will actually be able to produce the results automatically.
So how can we optimize our decision-making ability when there are so many components at play?
The answer to that lies in the amount of available energy per day and in the ways of increasing that amount.
If you imagine yourself as a bucket - every problem you have is a hole in that bucket through which your energy is being drained.
Energy = focus.
To plug those holes in your bucket:
Know your system and how it works.
Follow your sleep patterns to flush the toxins from the brain.
Reduce inflammation and other aspects that could be causing physical pain in the body.
Identify emotions that divert your attention.
Create clear goals so there would be a compelling future in front of you pulling you towards it.
Identify thoughts, lists, tasks you are holding in your head and outsource them to paper.
Engage with other people to stay socially connected, because no matter if you are an introvert or extravert - you still need your tribe.
Those kind of things is how you can prevent energy leaks and increase your capacity for decision - making.