About the Author

Michael Doig is a science teacher, web developer, and avid traveler who lives in Brooklyn, NY.

"How I Discovered Less Really Is More"

Getting out of your workspace and changing your surrounding can really help get the creative energy flowing. I recently traveled to MontrĂ©al for 2 months and it was some of the most productive time I’ve had in the last several years. During my stay I had the pleasure of reading the Seth Godin’s book All Marketers Are Liars.Godin Godin’s book offered some insight into why I might have been more productive when I was out of my office.

In the book, Godin compares the brains of a tree frogs and humans. Humans have a significantly larger brain than tree frogs, and therefore more brain power. However even with a large percentage of our brains dedicated to sight, humans can’t catch a housefly out of midair with or without our tounges. Yet frogs do it all the time.

The frogs brain has evolutionarily been optimized for this one specific task. Frogs only notice the change in their environment and by ignoring the static environment they become more efficient at catching flies. Humans actually do this as well, not to catch flies but to ignore the large amount of stimuli that affect us every second of every day. When we encounter something for the first time, we compare it to the status quo. If it’s not new, we ignore it.

I hypothesize this is the reason I was able to get more done when I was away from my “work” environment. Even though all of our books, magazines, papers and discs seem like they are tidy and out of the way they are still affecting us on a subconscious level. It always feels like there is something more important to do making it hard to concentrate on the task at hand.

Leaving everything behind helped free up my mind so I could focus on new ideas. This allowed me to think fresh and move forward with my projects without getting bogged down in my daily routine. Try it, get out of your office and take your laptop to the coffee shop, park or somewhere else and see if it helps you get things done.