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Discussion on: Nobody is working for 8 hours a day, Why?

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destynova profile image
Oisín

The Zeigarnik effect is really interesting and I don't think society has learned to take good advantage of it. A recent neuroscience paper had people do some learning tasks for about 30-40 minutes. Afterwards, they were split into two groups. One group was made to fill in (useless) forms immediately after the training. The other group was made to just sit in a quiet room for 10-15 minutes without doing anything at all.
A few days later both groups were tested on what they'd learned and the quiet room group scored much better.
The takeaway was that some "doing nothing" time is extremely beneficial after a learning session, to help process what you've learned and store that information more effectively in long-term memory. When I think of some of our meeting schedules at work, I can see how we undermine this process, by completely filling our calendar so that when one meeting finishes, we immediately start the next one on a different topic. This way we really don't allow those memory consolidation and storage processes to work properly. So I'm starting to build a habit of either leaving meetings a few minutes before the next one starts, or starting the next one slightly late, or just saying no to meetings that aren't super beneficial.