Time to leave the Autopilot mode
Many people drive home from work, having no recollection of how they drove the past 20 minutes, it is quite surprising to think how someone could get home safely. I wake up in the morning and get ready for University with no conscious thought involved and I always wonder how I managed not to forget the lipstick or mascara and above all, I achieve perfection. Scientists call this state “The Autopilot Mode”.
The first question I asked myself was isn’t it a good thing to live in the Autopilot mode? I do not have to spend my efforts focusing on something and I would rather get a lot done. In a way, I would like to see it as multitasking, when my brain handles the thought, in parallel I get my task done. Isn’t it amazing?
Well, I was wrong. Allowing your body to live in Autopilot mode would eventually make it harder to get back to a conscious mode. After realizing this fact, I decided to catch myself in Autopilot mode. I work alongside my studies as a research assistant and while I work I decided to record myself zoning out.
The number of times I switched from one task to another or got lost in something that adds no value was a figure I wouldn’t dare to agree with. The point of realization that I wasn’t living my life, rather I let it fly on autopilot was heartbreaking. This was overwhelming and I realized this needs to change. Here are some reasons I observed why we should stop living in Autopilot mode.
- The work you do takes forever:
I have observed that whenever I start with some task it takes forever. The main reason is that our brain tends to lose track of time while in Autopilot mode. Leaving the autopilot mode brings your consciousness back to the task at hand.
2. Focusing becomes easy:
Whenever we have an immediate deadline, we find it hard to sometimes focus, Something that you are supposed to finish up today looks impossible for you as your brain doesn’t want to cooperate. This happens because your brain is finding it hard to leave the autopilot mode and the easy fix you could come up with is to sleep and start afresh the next day.
3. More love to everything you do:
There is so much to enjoy on our normal day. When you live consciously you might want to live more in the present, might wanna go out and listen to birds or enjoy the morning walk or even fall in love with the pencil that is sitting in front of you for too long.
4. Live a meaningful life:
I have realized my conscious thought and decision to leave the autopilot mode added more value and meaning to my life. I have enough time to do everything I always wanted to like even starting this blog. Suddenly I just have more time for myself and I have become consciously cherry-picky.
Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey explains in detail about living on Autopilot mode, I highly recommend this to anyone who would love to hear the science behind it.