by Sunil Bali, 10-08-14

Most people don’t seem to know where they’re going in life, but are determined to get there as quickly as possible.

Full on working weeks and wiped out weekends seem to be the norm.

In these accelerated times of speed dating, speed reading and high speed living, one might assume that the quick-thinking "hare brain" will beat the slower intuition of the "tortoise mind." Not so.

Researchers at Harvard have shown that given time and space, the human brain will provide clarity and solutions for problems which leave everyday rationality flummoxed.

The researchers found that constant mental traffic prevents us from seeing clearly, listening deeply, and tapping in to our intuition. The steady flow of thoughts acts a barrier between our thoughts and feelings, and a barrier between our head and heart.

When rock star, philosopher, multi-million-selling, Ivor Novello award-winning songwriter and slightly grumpy dad, Noel Gallagher, was asked what he attributed his creativity to, he replied, "In the Church of Gallagher I have a commandment which I never break, "Though shalt not work weekends and before 10am."

Our minds constantly work overtime, typically revving at 20 – 30 thoughts per minute.

The human heart on the other hand, actually only “beats” for 9 hours a day.

Assuming an average heart rate of 70 beats per minute, the heart is in rest phase after contracting, for 15 hours out of every 24.

The research is unequivocal. The best way to get more done is to do less.

Whether you’re Usain Bolt or Richard Branson, the cycle of peak performance is the same:

      intense focus → energetic execution → deep recovery → intense focus.

Fridges, freezers and computers don’t need to be switched off, but we humans do.

A short digital detox and mental floss at either side of each day – 5 minutes is enough – has been shown to have a huge impact on productivity and creativity.

Slowing down is the new speeding up.


A man is at work one day, when he notices that his colleague, an accountant, is wearing an earring.

The guy knows that his colleague is normally a conservative chap, and is curious about his sudden change in “fashion sense.”

So he walks up to him and says, “I didn’t know that you were into earrings.”

“Don’t make such a big deal, it’s only an earring,” he replies sheepishly.

The man falls silent for a few minutes, but then his curiosity prods him to ask, “So, how long have you been wearing an earring?”

“Ever since my wife found it in my car.”