The Science of Choice: Why Do We Crave Flexibility?
It’s not unusual to crave flexibility in the workplace. That’s one of the reasons that remote and contract workers are becoming so popular. The science of choice and flexibility are important for many people, especially the younger generation beginning in the workforce.
While you may crave a flexible schedule, it might require a bit of change for your brain. The inner core of your brain is made of three sections: Motivation, Adaptive Decisions, and Routine Actions. Deciding to become a remote worker or initiating a flexible schedule works each part of the brain, helping you adapt to your new schedule and keeping you motivated during the switch.
If you’re thinking about going remote, don’t think too hard about it. Studies show that the longer you consider a decision, the less confident you actually feel. You can schedule your work almost anytime you want when you have a flexible schedule.
Studies show that a typical work schedule causes sleep deprivation which has become a public health issue. You need to be healthy within the workplace, so make sure you’re putting yourself first.
Personal vs. Collaborative
While this might come as a surprise, you actually feel more insecure making a decision with a group. This is because the psychology of the brain works by learning social cues throughout its life. Social media has advanced these conditions of needing to feel approval from others. The human brain has begun to learn to suppress its individuality in an attempt to please and blend in with the crowd. Being apart of the group is a social behavior learned at a young age, that transfers through school to the workplace. Sharing your ideas and decisions with a group is great, but try to stand by your thoughts with confidence.
Emotion and Intuition
You’ve probably heard that it’s a bad idea to make emotional decisions. In fact, it’s essential that you do to make good decisions. Without emotions, you are missing a “moral compass,” or not realizing there are consequences to your actions and decisions. A study was performed on a human with brain damage that lost their ability to process emotions. Their decisions were stuck in a rational form, not being able to make any decisions at all. Making a decision on a project based on complete rational is almost impossible, but luckily that’s actually not the best way to make a decision.
Intuition may seem unprofessional in the workplace, but it’s actually really important to decision making. The brain unconsciously processes events faster than the conscious, rational part of the brain. Many people ignore their sense of intuition or “gut feelings,” but it’s essential that you take that into account too. Intuition is rooted in patterns that your brain recognizes from previous experiences. So next time when you’re making a decision for work, try to listen to your subconscious mind too.
Similar to making group decisions, social expectations create insecurity and lack of confidence. Your brain puts great amounts of pressure to ensure that you exceed expectations, and your subconscious ego attempts to prove that it is better than everyone else. While this might seem false in some people, it’s true in all human brains. It is a manner of learning how to control your ego and confidence. Like all things, it takes work. Focus on what your subconscious mind is telling you and how it’s reacting. Try to ignore the social expectations from those around you, in person and on social media. This is also a culturally learned behavior, so learn to control your confidence and expectations of yourself. Remember that you’re not alone in these natural instincts.
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