Quartz, July 9, 2017
…the link between;
In the beginning, there was the word. Now, there’s a deluge of language. On average, Americans consume 34 gigabytes of content and encounter 100,000 written words from various sources in a single day (pdf).
For context, Leo Tolstoy’s epic War and Peace is 460,000 words, read entirely by only the most devoted Russian literature fans (and it’s a wordy genre generally). That means we’re encountering more than we can take in, according to literati and cognitive-load theory. We may need a language break.
Through the WI lens
“Infobesity” is becoming an ever-growing problem for the wellbeing of decision-makers. Their world is awash with such an overwhelming quantity of information and analysis that it can impair their ability to make good decisions. This, in turn, results in an enduring, damaging impact on wellbeing: stress and possibly burnout. What is to be done? The first thing is to limit the quantity of information and analysis. This may sound counter-intuitive, but it is the fundamental principle that underpins the rationale for the Hospitality and Wellbeing Barometer: as posited by cognitive-load theory, our brains have limited bandwidth, so to digest information in the most efficient way, we must also limit it. Then, there is a set of solutions that should be applied across the board when dealing with the requisite piece of analysis: (1) don’t multitask (the gravest sin: never works); (2) focus intensely on the task at hand (when reading or listening: the only way to do so in a productive and efficient manner) (3) “stop and think” by going silent. Business leaders are paid to think. “Thinking time” is their scarcest and most precious commodity. Finding the time to think is the key to finding solutions to what appeared intractable problems. This is when the ideas flow! And a sense of wellbeing with them…
What this article goes on to explain is how positive thinking – described here as ‘thriving’ – can counter the effects that come from the negativity outlined above, from reduced memory to diminished performance. Based on studying people in a series of organisations in different industries, one of the authors has found that people who attain this state are more resilient, experience less burnout, and are more confident in their ability to take control of a situation
“Behind the jargon what this is really about is how we address the challenge of biodiversity under threat, move away from fossil materials like plastic and concrete, and use nature in a sustainable way, all of which could be summed up by “living in harmony with nature”.”
“In the new ‘consensual contract’ between employer and worker, what’s required is a commitment from the employer to safeguard the wellbeing of their people, and a commitment in return from employees to take personal responsibility for their performance of their job.”
“Could loneliness not only be damaging our mental and physical health but also be making the world a more aggressive, angry place? And if so, what are the implications for a cohesive society and democracy?”
“On such fragile foundations are built the first steps towards a more ethical kind of business, and who knows what virtuous circles might result?”
“Scientific evidence recently emerged that, contrary to earlier beliefs, Covid-19 can be spread by tiny droplets that we breathe out when we respire, called aerosols.”
“Economic wellbeing is part of the story, but it is also about finding less stressful lifestyles, in which healthy diet figures as a meaningful measure of success.”
“The industry has every asset needed to be a guiding light in the shift toward personal health priority. Will that become a prevention legacy, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the Covid-19 ashes?”
“Looking at the bigger picture, putting the measures in this order represents a lost opportunity that the pandemic could have offered for a cultural pivot pivot towards getting people more focused on their health, a powerful statement of intent.”
“Employment is necessary to fulfil our most basic human needs such as food and shelter. Any significant increase in long-term unemployment will spell a retrograde step for human wellbeing like no other.”