- an organ of soft nervous tissue contained in the skull of vertebrates, functioning as the coordinating centre of sensation and intellectual and nervous activity.
Most of us are fortunate enough to have a brain-however, I do appreciate there are some questionable individuals out there- (those ignoramuses who stop at the bottom of escalators spring to mind first).
But do you ever feel that within the confines of your job, that sometimes you’re not using your brain in the way you used to? Dare I say, you sometimes think back to your uni days and actually miss sinking your teeth into an essay, in which you had to research, read and hypothesise? Where you actually felt you were using your brain and sometimes it would hurt just from over thinking?
As studies such as PwC’s ‘Future of Work’ show, millennials like to be stimulated and challenged, which contributes to why there are so many job hops. As well as this, those that aren’t mentally challenged are more likely to suffer from both depression and anxiety. There is nothing like finding a solution to a problem or being consumed by something that has held your interest, even after working hours. So, this leads me back to missing my brain and my day to day life. Whilst it is time consuming and commands all hours of the day and my full attention, that is not to say it either stimulates or challenges my brain and I. I have found this to be extremely common amongst both colleagues and peers, who reveal they find their days clock watching or going about their tasks in an almost robotic fashion. They are working for ‘work’s sake’ as opposed to working in order to invigorate something more in regards to what they are doing.
This begs the question, whether organisations should be doing more to ‘wake up’ their employees. To spark their interests in areas that perhaps don’t revolve around excel spreadsheets and what’s attached to your Outlook emails.
Organisations such as Google are praised for stimulating the minds of their employees- their campuses combine work and play to “ensure the health and wellbeing of staff and foster the innovation and creativity that defines the organisation.” Google have just put forward their planning to Camden council for their King’s Cross campus which is said to want to include a wide range of ‘play’ facilities, that includes a 200-metre roof top running trail, a covered sports hall for five-a-side football matches and half an Olympic sized swimming pool.
The average adult brain has 100 billion brain cells and from birth weighs about 400 grams. Studies indicate from 25-years your brain actually starts to shrink and key elements such as your cognitive abilities start to slow, so it’s key to keep your brain engaged to prevent it getting ‘sluggish’.
So, what should you do, if it’s not extreme enough to make you want to leave your job, but you’re aware your brain is slowly turning into a baked potato?
It really is quite simple. Do more. As tired and over worked as you believe you are, it is often in the mind and you really can push yourself to do more, outside of your working arena. Whether you start a sport, join an evening class or set up a book club, you need to ignite the brain hunger that will quench that thirst for knowledge and learning. If you have nostalgic feelings of the times where you felt your brain was more first gear than second, then it is your job to absorb more information and acquire new skills. If you do this, then we can guarantee that as a result you will be happier and more fulfilled both inside and outside of work.