This is What Happens to Our Brains When We're In the Zone

© endostock -- Fotolia We all know the feeling. Sometimes creativity just flows out of us like we are naturally gifted, and other times, just getting through the simplest tasks seems a challenge. The first of these scenarios is what I like to call Being in the Zone. Work comes easily, and new, thought provoking ideas flow easily. But what causes these brief periods of enhanced work productivity?

According to Scott Barry Kaufman, professor of psychology at New York University, when humans enter 'The Zone,' the precuneus, or the part of the brain associated with self-reflection, is increasingly active. However, the precuneus usually runs in default mode, without our thoughts or actions controlling it. When we enter the zone, we actively control our precuneus, thus allowing a level of thought and creativity that we wouldn't otherwise experience.

Research goes on to show that humans can lower the performance of their precuneus when engaging in social media. Our focus and attention of the precuneus is based on the actions and comments of others, instead of the thoughts of ourselves. Thus social media perusing can limit our creativity.

Food for thought: On days where you need to be in The Zone, limit social media usage. Save the precuneus for creativity and productivity, rather than social media gawking. You never know, you might just discover what it takes to push your productivity to the next level!

Marissa Brassfield

Marissa Brassfield is a productivity expert, branding consultant and communication efficiency specialist who helps entrepreneurs and high-performance teams become ridiculously efficient.

Marissa has worked with some of the most visionary entrepreneurs on the planet. She’s dialed in to the frustrations these results-oriented, interrupt-driven individuals have with bureaucracy and suboptimal team performance. Her coaching helps entrepreneurs counteract growth-killing practices and unlock unparalleled performance from their support staff.