More musing for better performance

Meyken Houppermans, PhD. CrossFit Level 3 Trainer.
Founder and Head Coach
More musing improves performance and efficiency at work. Lean back, chill, and let your thoughts run free. 

Being very productivy looks lazy

Musing can increase work productivity, 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”. 

Switch Tasking and loss of focus

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, a colleague who drops by with a quick question, and workdays full of Switch Tasking’.

Switch Tasking is: constantly having to switch from one task to 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 is, we are losing focus. Less focus at work means a higher risk of making mistakes. It also means a decrease in productivity. Switch Tasking might work to some degree if it concerns routine tasks, but when we have to do a more complex task it takes 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, never a time to recover

The huge increase in stimuli comes with a huge decrease in natural recovery moments.

An example: 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 avoid 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 a text message. Some of us might say that playing a game or reading the news on the phone is recovery time, but in fact, it is not. The 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! (Or do Forest bathing at work)

Create your own health!©


This article is based on the presentation of Mariska Davidse from Zorg van de Zaak, during the Dutch Conference Arts & Leefstijl in September 2020.