Lessons from Lockdown – Automatic Behaviour

Automating day-to-day behaviour

By creating subconscious habits (i.e. automated behaviour), we are able to conserve cognitive energy which allows us to focus on more important, strategic tasks. Because every time we change our routines and habits, we must rethink basic processes. This is what happened when we went into the first lockdown, we had to completely readjust our working behaviour. 

This meant that on every single task, we had to rethink how to accomplish what we needed to get the job done. Part of this was considering what knowledge and privacy security issues were involved, how we kept teams functioning, how we communicated with each other, how to use new apps and learn new skillsets, etc. 

All these new learnings required brain capacity to master basic behaviour in this new environment. A large part of our brain capacity was therefore used up in basic functioning – until the basic behaviours became familiar and automatic. This left less brain capacity to allocate to more strategic or productive tasks. 

However, since the first lockdown in March 2020, we’ve gone from the ‘old normal’ to remote work, then back to work, to remote work and now to hybrid work. During this time and because of these constantly shifting work situations, we’ve learnt to become more digitally flexible, and more confident to take on a number of remote and hybrid scenarios in order to get the job done, wherever that geographically may be.

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