the power of oscillation

The greatest performers and creative producers amongst us don’t work in a linear way i.e. they don’t hit it hard and put in long hours continuously to get work done and get their desired results. Instead, they work in a cyclical way and tap into the power of oscillation. Their work cycles comprise of intense bursts of deep focus and extraordinary performance followed by short intervals of rest and recovery. It’s similar to working out at the gym where intense reps are followed by brief moments of muscle recovery before continuing with the next reps.

They know the value of relaxation and recovery and hence are able to produce extraordinary output along with replenishing their inner resources of genius so that they don’t deplete them. In other words, they know how to refuel their jets.

The superachievers amongst us operate more like marathoners than sprinters. They understand the importance of working in ‘pulsation’ instead of pushing it hard without taking breaks to refuel.

It’s important that we don’t deplete our resources otherwise our creativity and productivity end up suffering. Research shows that we do our best work when our mind is fresh and when we are in a relaxed state as opposed to when we are overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted. And that’s why it’s best to work 45-60 minutes straight doing deep and intense work followed by 10-15 minutes of recovery and refueling via meditating, reading or listening to something inspirational, visualizing, listening to music that energizes and charges us, or spending time in nature away from electronic devices. Our refuel sessions help us shift our brain’s attention from ruminating and worrying behaviors into creativity and the state of ‘flow’.

As we work in this cyclical mode and use the power of oscillation — that very few of us know about — we are able to consistently produce exceptional work and march towards our big goals achieving our desired outcomes along with keeping our energy and enthusiasm intact.