You’ll hear someone boast about their vigorous workout routine, five active social media accounts, and their one hour commute. Are you really surprised to hear that they sleep six hours or less and don’t eat healthy? As it turns out, always working and always being connected is bad for your brain. Here’s why.
Being bored is good for you
Let’s get this out of the way first, stop falling asleep with your phone in your hand. Stop looking at screens at least half an hour before you go to sleep.
You know that you’re never going to reach inbox zero and that most emails aren’t as important as you think they are at 9pm. When your friends talk about you, do you think it’ll really be about how up to date your accounts are? Of course not.
According to author Eva Hoffman, being bored and idle and without stimulation is great for your mind. We concentrate less the more time we spend scrolling through screens, and reading tweets while watching TV.
An exercise involving two groups performing a basic test showed that the group that wasn’t provided with persistent stimulation beforehand performed dramatically better.
Sure, you can make it on five or six hours of sleep, but it can make you lose your mind
According to neuroscientist, author, and sleep expert Matthew Walker, only a very, very small percentage of people are actually capable of functioning on six hours of sleep without it being linked later on to Alzheimer’s, dementia, and the deterioration of your memory. Sorry to say, but that percentage of people probably doesn’t include or me, so it’s really not worth losing your mind so that you can have the most active, thriving personal brand.
Neuroscientist Matthew Walker talks with Entertainer Joe Rogan on the science of sleep and boredom
A commute that’s “too long” is shorter than you think
Not only is a commute 40 minutes or longer in good traffic adding about a whole work day worth of time to each week, it’s also hamstringing your salary. The latter is perhaps your whole reason for taking a job far away from home in the first place.
Mr. Money Moustache, a do-it-yourself influencer all about early retirement and personal finance, puts forth the example of his friends romancing about the idea of a combined 80 minutes per day of commuting between the two of them. Factoring in gas and average car ownership costs, his friends would be looking at $125,000 in expenses and over 1 year of commute time every 10 years, each!
Encourage yourself to enjoy being boredThe next time you reach for your phone when you aren’t doing anything, or when you pick up your phone for the fifth time today to see if you missed a notification, try to .
Let your brain take a break and organize your thoughts for you. Go take a walk. Take a nap. Turn off the screens and do some idle tidying-up. It will shock you how much it improves your peace of mind.