More musing for better performance

Meyken Houppermans
Founder and Head Coach
If you want to increase your performance and be more efficient at work, you need to muse more: Lean back, chill, and let your thoughts run free. In this article we share the latest insights on this topic and how it can help you, starting today!

Productivity with a lazy image

A few months ago I posted an article on Linkedin about musing at work in relation to productivity. My message was that musing can increase your productivity tremendously, but it is undervalued and misunderstood due to its appearance. To be highly productive at work in the healthiest way we can, we need to muse more and  reframe musing from “looks like you’re being lazy” to “looks like you’re being super productive”.

Last week, during the Dutch Conference Arts & Leefstijl in September 2020, on the latest scientific evidence into medicine and lifestyle, the topic of musing also came along. In this article we share some  interesting additional insights based on the lecture of Mariska Davidse from Zorg van de Zaak.  


Since the last few decades, the amount of stimuli we’re confronted with in  one day has quintupled. Emails, phone calls, WhatsApp notifications, social  media info, the colleague who drops by with a quick question, or a workday  full of ‘switch tasking’ (constantly switching between one task and the  other, such as replying to an email, signing a document and returning a phone  call). We are being overloaded with information, relevant and irrelevant, and confronted with numerous stimuli all day long.

As a result, if we want it or not, we  are forced to spread our attention. The consequence of that is, we are losing  our focus. Less focus at work means a higher risk for making mistakes. It also means a decrease in our productivity. Because, ‘switch tasking’ might  work to some degree if it concerns routine tasks, but when we have to do a  more complex task it takes us 5 to 25 minutes to regain our focus and get  back into our workflow. Furthermore, losing focus also mean not being “really  there” in our interaction with others, professionally but also in your private life.

Never a dull moment

The huge increase in stimuli comes with a huge decrease in natural recovery  moments. A nice example mentioned during the Conference was that, if a few decades ago our tv network crashed, there was nothing left to do than just  wait: a natural recovery moment. Nowadays, we immediately grab our phone or other device to make sure we’re not missing out, or even worse to make sure  we’re not being overwhelmed by feelings of restlessness.

Even during potentially present  natural recovery moments, such as on the toilet, what do we do? Right… we  play a game, check the news or reply our text messages. Some of us might say  that playing a game or reading the news on your phone is recovery time, but in fact, it is not. Your brain is still in an active non- recovery modus.

Strangely enough: when we execute  physical labor,we are very well capable of noticing the symptoms of our body  telling us we need to rest and recover. But when it comes to mental labor, we  seem to think our brain is inexhaustible and don’t notice the symptoms of  overload until the damage is already done. All of a sudden, high levels of  stress and mental exhaustion hit us in the face.

If you want to increase your productivity and efficiency at work in the  healthiest way you can, with benefits for your social bonds on professional and private level: Muse, like never before!

Create your own health!©