An interesting article sparked my interest over the weekend. It comes from Fortune Magazine and is entitled: 7 ways to retrain your brain so you are more productive. You can read the full article here:
The article is written by Laura Vanderkam and discusses a book by Daniel Levitin, The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.. The 7 key takeaways from the article are as follows:
. Give things a place : to reduce the amount of mental energy you spend trying to find things again. Keys on the hook, mobile phones by the door were two examples given. I agree with this. I have a key hook where the car keys are kept. My mobile phone is in the kitchen, where it charges. I do not have my mobile in the bedroom as the constant chirping of e: mails, tweets, comments etc. that it receives would keep me awake at night. I have tried to instil the same practice in the girls - to limited effect. I constantly get asked where they have left something that belongs to them, that they have managed to loose. Why it is my "job" to find their stuff, I suppose it is the lot of being them only organised one in the house.
. Create triggers to help you snap out of auto-pilot : Set reminders on your mobile to chime at certain times or in certain locations. I use this to remind myself to do a 3 Minute Mindfulness exercise at lunchtime every day. It helps as I get the prod.
. Keep track of your networks: Don’t rely on your brain to remember the names of people you meet or the things you talked about – it’s not always up for the job. Our ancestors had smaller social circles. Make a note. This really rang a chord with me. As anyone who knows me will testify, I am terrible at remembering names of people. Even worse, it is remembering birthdays and special events. That is why I use Google Calendar & Contact so much. Everyone I know is in contacts - often with a picture, so I can remember who they are. In addition, I use the diary to record events such as car services, household insurance, MOTs as much as birthdays. This helps me to stop me having to remember so much of the little stuff all the time.
. Focus on one thing at a time : Don’t indulge in this nonsensical multitasking behalf….where 3 things get done averagely at best. I always seek to finish one job before completing another. It helps to concentrate and you get the best result you can. Try eating an apple, whilst climbing the stairs, holding a cup of coffee. Three simple tasks, but I bet you will either drop the coffee, miss a step or stop eating for a few minutes. Go on try it......
. Don’t agonize over things you can’t change: This was one of the biggest elements for me. We have discussions within the household about peoples attitudes and why people do things. I am often saying, you cannot change other people, you can only change yourself. This is one of the biggest things people have forgotten about today.
. Finally, sleep : It’s one of our biggest weapons for cognitive success. I know I do not get enough of it. I try to get at least 7 hours every evening. I have even been known to power nap. Which I have found very helpful during the day.
For more on Power Napping, check out this Daily Telegraph article :http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/10361149/Do-power-naps-really-work.html