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Productivity beyond the pandemic

Written by:

Holland Haiis

Does the “new reality” of pandemic worklife sometimes leave you listless, sluggish, and drifting toward cynicism and gloom? That’s a 2020 flavor of burnout. Prolonged stress brings the emotional, mental, and sometimes physical exhaustion of burnout. Yes, we’re living in stressful times!

At ecoPreserve’s quarterly team meeting, our special guest speaker, Holland Haiis brought a fresh perspective for these trying times.

Holland’s session provided insight into the brain science of chemical release which can be good or bad. She explained about Dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter, and Cortisol, the stress response hormone.

Dopamine is one of over one hundred neurotransmitters in the human brain. It is the main brain chemical messenger responsible for making us feel motivated. Dopamine delivers a sense of satisfaction in our mind after accomplishing a task. It also is released when playing sports, learning something new, finishing a task or project, or getting the big promotion you wanted at work.

Often called the “motivation molecule,” dopamine provides the drive and focus we all need in order to be productive. It is heavily involved with our attention span, focus, follow-through, motivation, and the ability to experience pleasure. Dopamine deficiency can cause some imbalance in our life. These are some of the consequences:

  • Fatigue
  • Apathy
  • Lack of focus
  • Forgetfulness
  • Moodiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Sugar cravings
  • Lower motivation

Dopamine-dominant people are usually focused go-getters. Unfortunately, many of the things that people do to boost their focus and energy end up backfiring. There are many unhealthy ways to seek out a “dopamine fix.” For example, anything addicting like nicotine, caffeine, and sugar-laden, fat-filled treats are all very effective at increasing dopamine levels and can, in turn, be the root cause of addictive behavior in our life.

However, these things that provide a quick boost end up disrupting the natural dopamine production process resulting in decreased dopamine production in the long-term.

Holland Haiis’ presentation gave us strategies to beat stress burnout and master the motivation that’s so essential to working at home.