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“Multitasking” – or the art of doing several tasks at once – would be a myth of efficiency. Zoom on the limits of our attentional resources with Jean-Christophe Beau, expert in agile management.


Graduated from HEC, founder of several consulting and training structures in companies, Jean-Christophe Beau has created My Mental Energy Pro with Gaël Allain, doctor in cognitive psychology. This application offers a range of innovative solutions to avoid mental overheating and gain creativity at work.

Our grey matter is apparently not made to do several things at once.” There is an explosion in the flow of information (smartphones, e-mails, etc.) while the 200,000-year-old brain has not changed since the Neanderthal,” Jean-Christophe explains.  “And not only, at the time, the information to be treated was of a completely different nature, but in addition, today, some of our activities do not seem to have an end.” Digital tools and the acceleration of the rhythms in companies thus generate a multitasking which exhaust our attention resources.


Warning : discharged battery


Therefore, concentration is not innate to the brain, and consumes a lot of energy; staying focused all day would be a total utopia. Invariably, we end up losing our alertness and control of our emotions, repeating forgetfulness, drowning in details, etc., and then we become more and more vulnerable.



The notion of attentional resources concerns the adequacy between the capacities of the brain and the information to be treated” specifies Jean-Christophe Beau. “Our stock of available resources is not large enough to analyze everything, we must fight against the temptation to do everything,” he adds.

Since concentration is not its natural state, the brain spends much more time on mental relaxation, or divagation. To stay focused, we must let our meninx recharge their batteries from time to time… Hence the importance of organizing our attention. How ? By letting his thoughts run free.


Take real breaks


Stopping for five minutes not only allows you to recharge your energy, but also your creativity. Let your mind wander freely does not mean that your brain stops working. On the contrary, it is thanks to these few moments when we think of nothing particular and when we relax our concentration that we activate our brain network “by default”. This allows you to preserve your attention span and sometimes even find solutions to your problems. Small daily breaths which can also be unavoidable to avoid mental overload, at the origin of pathologies such as burn-out.


No computer or smartphone, just enough to let your thoughts go : air and a good coffee.


These breaks really allow us to regain concentration and creativity, says Jean-Christophe Beau. Often, ideas are triggered at times when you don’t do anything special.” Thus, My Mental Energy offers – among other methods and tips – two-minute stories to listen to at work. These little stories help the mind to quit quickly, without requiring extreme concentration. In short, a regenerative “mental wandering”, not to be confused with idleness.


Clémence d’Halluin


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