Daniel Dement, sleep researcher and founder of the Stanford University Sleep Research Center and author of the national best seller, "The Promise of Sleep," shows how sleep debt lowers IQ, has long-term health risks and is responsible for 33 percent of traffic-fatigue-related accidents.
The secret to creativity: slow down
By Christopher Richards
When I asked Chowdhury about the difficulty of getting people to slow down enough to nap at work, he said it was a matter of culture. Employees at Procter & Gamble Services in Germany are enthusiastically embracing power napping. The company is pleased with improvements in employee energy and well-being. Miami airport installed EnergyPods so harried travelers can recharge and renew. And mini-hotel rooms are now catching on in major airports around the world, so the previously rushed can be the newly relaxed.
Hospitals and airlines are now leading the way by introducing mandatory napping programs. Clearly some businesses understand the value of coping with speed and benefits of a well-rested workforce.
We're conditioned to go fast. In school, children are taught to come up with the right answer fast. There's little time for discovery and developing a more leisurely and creative approach. Children are expected to know "how" but not necessarily "why." The rush is on to get through the material. I have a friend who teaches MBA courses at a prestigious university. He laments the students' desire only for tools. They have no time to be curious: to play with ideas and to find out why.
According to an article in a recent Economist ("The race is not always to the richest," December 8 – 14, 2007), educational performance of U.S. children is poor by world standards. Our reading performance doesn't even make it into the top 12 OECD countries. And only Mexico is behind us on math performance. Finland is number one in science education. What's the Finnish secret? The schools hire well qualified teachers -- and here is the counter-intuitive part -- they slow down and spend plenty of time with the students.
Sir Ken Robinson, author, creativity expert and educational guru, says that our education system is still a nineteenth century model. Then, the workforce wasn't expected to be smart. It was expected to be efficient and obey. And the only options were to "do more, faster." In the early twentieth century, workers were subjected to time and motion studies. Every movement was timed. Soon this sort of dehumanizing work was taken over by technology. But our education system is still playing catch up.
Guy Claxton, author of "Hare Brain Tortoise Mind: How Intelligence Increases When You Think Less," coined the term Undermind for this intuitive way of slow knowing. He contrasts this with what he calls D-mode -- deliberate-mode. Remember that sort of thinking you were praised for in school? Of course, D-mode is necessary, but not here, and not yet.
Yogi Berra once opined that you can observe a lot by just watching. Nobel laureate, Szent-Gyorgyi said that discovery consists of seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one has thought. Slowing down gives us the opportunity to see more clearly what we otherwise miss.
Einstein spent a lot of time staring out of the window from his Princeton office. He dreamed of riding on a moonbeam.
The future is uncertain. Our world is dynamic, and it is our thinking that will make or break us. Taking the time to slow down can help us be more creative, see opportunities, avoid mistakes and be more productive.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Results from a national poll were released today by Lake Research Partners, identifying a new strand of swing voters poised to support candidates and policy that ensure building capacities of the imagination in schools.
The new national survey of 1,000 likely voters, with a 3.1% margin of error, identifies that 30% of voters are not only dissatisfied with public education's narrow focus on the "so-called" basics, but that they also believe developing the imagination is a critical, but missing, ingredient to student success in 21st century schools and moving students beyond average.
"These are surprising results that indicate a strong set of shared public values are not being detected by public leaders," said Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners. "A significant number of voters believe that today's educational approaches are blocking potential for innovation, and they are hungry for imagination in education. This group, which we call the 'imagine nation' is going to take action accordingly -- both in local schools and at the voting booth."