Okay, so I was going to research something online, noticed I had a Facebook notification, clicked on it, responded to it… then, 8 minutes later, I forgot what I was doing. It took me a couple minutes of retracing my steps to recover it. I call it BBS… Busy Brain Syndrome.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Is Busy Brain Syndrome Bad?
- Causes of Busy Brain Syndrome
- 50 Years Ago and Today
- The Information Era – Age of Information Pollution
- Five Quick Tips for BBS
- The Benefits of Busy Brain
Been There, Done That?
That’s never happened to you, right? ?
The “can’t remember what I was going to do… or say”, dilemma can happen multiple times over the next hour and sometimes minutes, if I let it. Fortunately, I now use a time tracker to track my time, and often refer to it to quickly recall the last task, or my entire day, such as when I’m posting the day’s review in my journal.
However, I’m not concerned. Miffed sometimes, yes. Concerned, no. I know that my forgetfulness is not because of heredity or any deleterious aging. It shows up in people of all ages, including youth. I don’t need a scientific study to verify this having both lived as one and lived with them!
The forgetfulness of this era is often just BBS – Busy Brain Syndrome.
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder-iCreateDaily.com®
Is Busy Brain Syndrome Bad?
Though I’ve been using this busy brain syndrome (BBS) phrase for a few years, I think this is the first time I’ve written about it. In researching that term to see if others were using it, it seems that indeed they are!http://www.sylviamarina.com/_blog/Articles/post/Busy_Brain_Syndrome/https://www.creatingyourplan.com/busy-brain-syndrome/http://busybrainsyndrome.com/
While there are many causes for concern related to forgetfulness, if your forgetfulness is the result of busy brain syndrome, BBS, then it’s not so much to worry about. In fact, an active brain—like active muscles—can keep you healthier and more mentally resilient as you age.https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/199503/the-busy-brainhttps://deemagclinic.com/2021/07/06/aging/amp/
However, there are things you can do to improve your mental efficiency, especially if this presents a problem. If you’re retired and enjoy flitting here and there throughout your day, that’s awesome, you’ve earned it! However, if you’re in pursuit of a creative career, you’ll want to harness your meandering into a more focused effort.
Goals Make a Difference
Setting monthly goals that you work and tweak daily and weekly makes a huge difference in whether you achieve your desires. So does focus. Begin by asking where you want to be at day’s end, then expand to where you want to be by week’s end. Then set your daily goals accordingly and tweak as you go to refine and stay on track.
“Information overload is a symptom of our desire to not focus on what’s important. It is a choice.”
~Brian Solis, analyst, author, blogger, futurist, visionary, b.2/8/1970
Busy Brain Syndrome Is Not a Disease
BBS is definitely not convenient, and can be annoying and even embarrassing, such as when it happens in mid conversation, or to me on the iCreateDaily podcast. However, the good news is that it’s most often not due to some deleterious aging effect. The reasons and causes will vary by each individual scenario.
If you’re suffering forgetfulness and have concerns, then you should definitely look into it. You don’t want to congest your mind with worry and anxiety. If you’re forgetful, but don’t have any history or lifestyle proclivity toward Alzheimer’s or other dementia in your family, perhaps you just have BBS.
What Causes Busy Brain Syndrome (BBS)
BBS is most often due to these non-disease related causes:
- ADD/ADHD – you can learn how to put it to work for you rather than derail you.
- Creators – living in the flow of creativity impulse
- Ideators – Idea proliferation
- Lack of focus – bypassing deep thinking
- Distractions – Skimming the surface of this and that
- Multitasking – doing multiple things at once or trying to
- Worry – distracted worrisome thoughts/problems that keep you stuck in a negative loop
If you’re an artist entrepreneur, then you’re very familiar with the multitude of tasks, opportunities and avenues available for growing your brand and your business, especially in the online world. If you struggle each day to laser in on what you most need to be doing, then you’re not alone.
A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.
~Herbert A. Simon, economist, psychologist, author, 1916-2001
50 Years Ago and Today
What kinds of things demanded our attention (or that of our elders), 50 years ago? There were no online distractions, very few TV programs, no cell phones or cable with hundreds of channels. Social media 50 years ago was church, the movies, cookouts at friend’s homes, community pool parties and sitting on the front porch chatting with neighbors strolling by.
Today, to research sources to cite for this article, I go to one article that has to be clicked 50 times to get through each page of brief actual content I’m looking for. However, the entire lower 2/3 of the page is clickbait content that makes you want to click to “know the scoop”. Each ONE page has 20 more possibilities to click on, and each one of those leads to another 20 or so.
And that doesn’t even touch the email inbox and social notifications that pop up at each site you visit. If you go to one of your social sites today, there can be numerous notifications and another 50 or so friends posts and ads in your timeline. More distractions added to your own busy creator’s brain.
“There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, essayist, lecturer, philosopher, poet, 1803-1882
The Information Era – AKA – Age of Information Pollution
Distractions are not your fault… but they are your responsibility.
The proliferation of junk food that line the many aisles and shelves of grocery stores today isn’t your fault either. But if you choose to consume that over healthier foods from the produce department, your body will ail and fail. Just as we come to realize that we can eat whatever we want whenever we want it and maintain a healthy body, it’s the same for our creative endeavors.
Distractions are a part of the age that we live in. Just like pollution went with the territory of the early years of the industrial age, so too does attention pollution go with the territory of the information age of today.
We grow up and learn to discipline ourselves to focus on our goals and avoid the rest. We create more than consume, and what we consume most feeds our aspirations and goals.
Our busy brain is put to work for us by focusing it on what we want to accomplish. It’s all just energy, now we’re directing the flow of that energy.
Like Luke, we are yielding The Force… or learning to.
The information age is the age of distractions. Be possessive of your attention… or someone else will.
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder-iCreateDaily®
You Can’t Do It All…
…So Do What Matters Most
This article was inspired by a distracted moment; a brief snippet of conversation with someone in our iCreateDaily community. I’ve elaborated on this in another article where something similar happened that — happily — ended up very well. This time I was distracted by an interaction, that led to a conversation that led to this article.
Now what was I doing a minute ago..? ? ?
Put Your Busy Brain to Work for You…
…Not Against You
A busy brain can be a sign of a flourishing mind, like the garden in summer. All is well, but you just need to tend the weeds and pests to nurture your growth and protect your precious bounty, the fruits of your effort.
5 Quick Tips for BBS
- Set your goals and stick to them
- Keep an ideas notebook and write all ideas as they come so you can get them out of your mind to attend to later
- Set specific times for your social platforms and stick to them
- Track your time to be accountable
- Avoid those things which do not serve your goals
The ultimate remedy for Busy Brain Syndrome in this era of information pollution:
Avoid that which does not serve your goals.
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder-iCreateDaily®
As a creator, you’re not likely to get less busy or have fewer ideas, because the more you create, the more you live in the flow of the realm of ideas. This era of information pollution is not likely to clear up anytime soon. So it’s up to us to clean up our inner environment through discernment.
Related: But if you’re stuck in a creator’s block, this will help.
The more ideas you do, the more ideas will come to you.
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder-iCreateDaily®
The Benefits of Busy Brain
The Good News
The good news is that an active mind is an agile mind. Like an active body that stays strong and limber through exercise and stretching, so too does your brain through creativity, activity and movement. Having lots of ideas is great. Putting them to use, one at a time through daily creating, even better.
But instead of “brain gym” and other “busy” activities purported to keep your brain young and agile, be a lifelong learner. Perpetually challenge your brain to take on new tasks and learn new things. Not only will it benefit your brain, it will also enrich your life.
And, the more we work on our craft and deepen our ability to focus, the more we’ll be able to do more of what we want to do without stress or duress.
The more you immerse in the creative life, the more ideas and interests you’ll have. Ideas and opportunities will only grow as you do.
In this era of infinite possibilities, creative mediums and distractions, creators are the kid in the candy store. It’s up to us to parent ourselves to stay on track and disciplined enough to not follow every whim that crosses our screen, or little red circle to see what that notification is… just in case it’s important.
What’s most needed and less common is obsessive mental focus. We need to practice deep thinking and contemplation, thoughtful reflection and meditation, and purposeful pondering.
In order to stay on track with your top goals and bring them to fruition you need to identify your purpose in each day and the best way to achieve that.
This is the time to go deep and focused rather than be scattered, especially when it’s hard, especially in challenging times. The trees with the deepest roots weather all storms. So too can we with practice. Every effort to learn and grow in our craft and in our personal development sends deeper stronger roots from soul to psyche and fortifies our lives with greater meaning.
Focus for an hour and you’ll have a fantastic hour. Focus for a day and you’ll have a fantastic day…for a week and you will amaze yourself. Do this daily and you’ll quickly become addicted to feeling amazed.
For some GREAT NEWS on the brain and aging, you may enjoy this article.
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Hello! I’m LeAura, owner and co-creator of iCreateDaily.com®. As an autodidactic philosopher, generalist, personal development advocate, entrepreneur, writer, editor, author, ideator, media publisher, and podcaster, I’m passionate about helping others achieve their best possible life! Our small family of entrepreneurs, writers, investors, educators and creators own and run websites around topics we enjoy, such as gardening, health and fitness, creativity and pets, with more to come.
While my greatest teacher is Life… my formal training includes certifications in mediation, fitness, and strategic intervention coaching, including marriage and family. Today, the synergy of creating websites, articles and podcasts, brings together all my favorite things: family, learning, growth, creating, connecting and contributing. To share these with you is a privilege, that serves my lifelong aspiration to help others.
My personal areas of creativity are in writing, masterminding, ideation, synthesis and bringing ideas to life through business and entrepreneurship, all with a pervasive spiritual foundation with a focus on elevating the lives of others.
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