DEV Community

Yuriy Markov
Yuriy Markov

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at


How many hours a day do you think you work?

Buy Me A Coffee

People usually think that they are working some exact number of time.

But that is not how our brain works.

Once the brain has a task, it will keep allocating part of its computing time to find the solution until it will complete the job.

Though it is also not the end of the story: after the brain will find the solution, it will spend some time to memorize the results.

Now, let's take a look at this simple timeline:

9 am - new task, complexity - inhuman!
10 am - meetup
11 am - read emails, etc.
Noon - hey it's lunchtime!
1 pm - concentrating on a task
2 pm - help request from your colleagues
3 pm - your boss wants to see you
4 pm - concentrating on a task
5 pm - coffee time!
6 pm - oops! time to go home!
7 pm - traffic jams
8 pm - dinner
9 pm - family time
10 pm - time to sleep
11 pm - the solution!

Note that the above timeline is very simplified to catch the idea.

So, why the brain finds the solution even if you are busy with some different tasks?

The answer is simple - the brain was solving the problem all this time. But your higher level of consciousness was not aware of this work.

How is this possible?

Let's think about the brain as of the superset of neural networks. Every part of this superset is also a set of neural networks.

Can you imagine the complexity of this structure? Also, it is a genuine miracle that this superstructure is placed inside our skull!

Moreover, this super network always works. When you eat, walk, entertain, sleep, even if you are unconsciousness.

Another noticeable thing that all these networks are working independently. And that allows our brain to be a true multitasker!

Having all of the above in mind, can you imagine the overall computing power of our brain?

The general simplified scheme of working of our built-in neural network looks like this:

  • get the task
  • divide the task into the chunks
  • assign each chunk to some part of the network
  • memorize the result after all of the assigned networks report back
  • after the result is memorized start notifying higher-level network
  • wait for a time-slot to report that the task is finished

Thanks to this approach, all of us have those "a-ha" moments.
So, it is wrong to think that you are only working when you are in the workplace.

Depending on your overall experience and the complexity of a task, your brain will allocate as much time as it needs to find the solution.

So, the right answer is that your brain is always working, and so do you.

Top comments (7)

huebnerdaniel profile image
Daniel Hübner

Quite frequently I get my epiphanies in the shower. I always thought that relaxing the mind might help in finding those solutions, at least when it comes to being creative about the problem solving.

Thanks for this insight, I never thought about what my brain does.

peacefullatom profile image
Yuriy Markov

Yes. Even if you switch your focus, your brain will keep seeking the solution. Especially if the problem is important for you.

madza profile image

6PM: nah, not today.
3AM: finds solution IN A DREAM.

david_j_eddy profile image
David J Eddy


peacefullatom profile image
Yuriy Markov

Indeed, a great example of how our brain is working!
Thanks for sharing! 👍

alkiwrites profile image
alkiwrites • Edited

These days honestly feel like i just work all the time.
Kind of hard to switch off that funny way,programmers think.
Still, most my front-end greatness comes while
chilling with some frankincense and/or while cooking.

mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio • Edited

I knew a boss/company owner who believed he gets 4 (solid) hrs a day out of his employees.

As a worker drone and manager myself, I tend to agree.