Welcome to the first edition of the Five-Minute Gemba, a bi-weekly newsletter designed to help you accelerate your Industry 4.0 Journey.
The other morning, I woke up at 4 AM with my brain spinning, in full problem-solving mode. A technical issue I had encountered for one of my CIMCO Machine Data Collection customers evidently was prioritized in my slumbering brain. I had worked out 80 percent of the solution in my mind and was able to brainstorm the other 20 percent before getting up to go write everything down so it wouldn’t escape me. Once this information was released from my brain to the paper, I was ready to go back to sleep.
This is what we mean when we say “Let me sleep on it.”
Thanks to Daniel Levitin and his game-changing work in “The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload,” I was able to make significant changes to how I organized my work and personal life. Levitin explains at length how learning and problem solving go on while getting quality sleep.
The first thing I did was “get things out of my head.” Levitin recommends different tools and methods people use to free their minds to focus.
The second thing I did was lump similar tasks together (think about the time we lose readjusting to different things). Now, my learning curve ramps up once, and I do similar work for hours at a time.
This isn’t anything new. Einstein and Edison and “artists like Salvador Dali, writers like Mary Shelley, and great thinkers have understood that the early “nodding off” stage of sleep, when theta waves predominate in the brain, is the best time to let the creative juices flow.”
Do not underestimate the power of sleep. And if you aren’t getting enough, get serious about fixing that issue. If you happen to wake up with an idea in your head, give yourself a little time to brainstorm it, then go write it down. That little bit of time invested could be your next big breakthrough, or an idea that could change the world.
Sleep might seem like an odd topic for your Industry 4.0 journey, but you’ll be surprised how it underpins everything you do. What would you add?
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(This newsletter was originally published on September 18, 2020.)
Image courtesy of The Creative Exchange