Sick of your todo list not getting done? If you have an overwhelming to do list, it might be doing more than just getting neglected. It mighty actually be hurting your performance in more ways than you realize.
High performance today is about being clever. It’s about working smarter, prioritizing the million things bustling for your attention, finding creative solutions and finding new opportunities to improve.
The part of our brain that is most responsible for this is called the Pre-Frontal Cortex. But while the PFC tends to do this high value thinking, it’s also responsible for some very low level stuff as well.
And here’s the real problem:
This PFC only has a limited fuel supply. If you spend you time and energy doing the low value things, it leaves less fuel for the high value things. This concept of a performance fuel tank is a good analogy. If you have burnt all your fuel – if you’re fatigued, sleep deprived, or have spent an entire day doing high level thing – then you are less able to do things like make decisions, control emotions and behaviours or think critically. That PFC doesn’t function as well.
So what has your to do list got to do with all this?
Well, one of the low value things we do is hold things in short-term memory. Think about when someone gives you a phone number when you’ve got nothing to write on. The process of remembering that number – holding it in short term memory – for two minutes while you find a pad and pen is exhausting, right? Now imagine trying to actually do a problem solving activity while you