Shatterdays and Shundays

February 17, 2014 |  by  |  Linkedin Blog

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 work 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.


On a recent trip to the United States, Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of the UK, addressed a large gathering of Native American Indians.

He spoke for almost an hour on his plans for a Carbon Trading Tax for the UK and Europe.

At the conclusion of his speech, the crowd presented him with a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name: Walking Eagle.

A very chuffed Tony then departed in his motorcade, waving to the crowds.

A news reporter later asked one of the Indians how they came to select the new name given to Tony Blair.

They explained that Walking Eagle is the name given to a bird so full of sh1t that it can no longer fly.

Sunil Bali

As well as being a recognised authority on personal branding and peak performance, Sunil is a critically acclaimed author and blogger. His corporate experience includes roles as Head of Talent on behalf of Vodafone Group, Santander (UK) and Cable & Wireless Europe. Sunil has also run a multi-million pound recruitment business, and is a Non Executive Director. Sunil’s first degree in Sports Science and Psychology fuelled his passion for the psychology of human achievement and well-being. As well as possessing an MBA, he is a qualified Psychotherapist and Executive Coach.

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