Brain Modes

Brain Modes is a short hand way of looking at what state we find ourselves in. We will briefly look at three of them.

Creative Mode

In this state of mind, we feel comfortable, happy and want invest in doing things for a later time. We have the Dopamine to see connections and creative solutions, and sufficient Norepinephrine to put energy into initiating non-critical and non-urgent tasks.

This is an excellent learning state. Our solutions focus on Work Smarter rather Work Harder.

Critical Mode

In this state of mind, we think that there is an urgent and critical thing that needs to be done. This can be triggered by various urgencies (due date, friend coming over, expectations and judgement).

In this state we narrow our creativity, and focus on practical solutions. While creativity is narrowed, it isn’t gone, so we are able to logically and creatively add to solutions, but the emphasis is more on “doing” than “solving”.

This state of mind is quite familiar to ADHDers who hand things in at the last minute. It may be good, but it could have been better. It is important to acknowledge that “good enough” is often good enough, but it doesn’t feel good.

Sometimes people enter Hyper Focus with an urgent feel. This is where “only this task” exists and we can break lots of time limits. It often feels like “one more thing before I stop”.

Our solutions focus on Persistence Wins rather than Work Smarter.

Crisis Mode

In this state of mind, we need something done and we need it now. It can feel very pressured and we have no room to think things through, because this is a Crisis damnit.

Our creativity and learning are minimal. We decrease our solution space to Flight and Fight and there is little to no “think it through”. Dexterity is often down and we will frequently be physically clumsy.

Our solutions focus on Push Harder or Escape rather than Work Smarter.

Flow State

Sometimes we can enter into a state of mind where our enjoyment at learning and achieving triggers more neurotransmitter release. In this state of mind, we find that everything just flows and time can seem meaningless. This can lead to a very positive Hyper Focus with Creativity and Achievement being the central happy feel.

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