Just as you need to exercise your brain, you also need to exercise your brain – and it can be one of the greatest hacks for mastering the art and science of productivity. In today’s world, it can be very easy to get distracted or to be too busy that nothing gets done on time or at a high quality. Who hasn’t had a crammed calendar or an endless list of things to do???
Here are five surefire tips to “rewire” the brain and master productivity.
- Meditate – This might seem counter to the idea of doing more and being productive. However, know that taking the time to meditate can be key to achieving your goal. For instance, simply close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will clear your mind and help you feel refreshed. Regularly practicing this corresponds to increased gray matter density in your brain stem, which means improving your brain power and powering up your productivity!
- Do the most dreaded task first – Identify which task on your to-do list you’d rather skip or work on later out of fear or anxiety. It could be that piece you’ve been putting off writing or that school project you feel you won’t do well. Amid the overwhelming feeling, decide to do it first. It’s a move to “slay your dragons” and get motivated for the rest of the time once it’s already finished. The tendency, of course, is to do the easy tasks first, but if you truly want to be productive then get started on the toughest one. Furthermore, you have the highest level of energy at the start of your day – along with fewer distractions.
- Try gamification – You’ll be surprised at how far the results can go when you gamify. Set a time and try to finish a task in 10 or 20 minutes. Make sure that the task can be completed within this time, or at least a portion of it gets done. Gamification is helpful for tasks that bore you or you just work on out of routine or responsibility. It also promotes working in short spurts instead of undetermined amounts of time.
- Write it out – This doesn’t mean creating a written masterpiece or being an author or writing authority. This tip just tries to tell you that taking the time to write “tells” your brain what is important or what should be done. When you work your memory, it helps you process your thoughts, remember things, and become motivated to tackle something creatively. According to a UCLA brain imaging study, you decrease the activity where your brain processes emotions when you write things down. In particular, this is the amygdala, which controls your emotional responses. To be productive, take a few minutes every day to transmit your thoughts into writing so you can enhance your brain.
- Turn off those distractions – Productivity entails focus, sp make sure nothing stands in the way between you and your tasks. Phone calls, emails, mobile alerts, and people appearing at your door are some of life’s interruptions. While you can’t control all of these, you can control the technology that distracts you. One technique is to schedule a block of time when you have a commitment to fulfill or task to complete. During that time, turn off all distractions and outside communications. You’ll be surprised at how that undisturbed time can go a long way in helping you focus, focus, focus.
Got more productivity questions or hacks that have worked for you? Let us know and let’s discuss!