Today we’re going to look at three (plus one) brain-based tips you can use each day to improve your work and personal life. If you try nothing else, try these. You will definitely notice a difference in the way you feel and the way you manage your life.
One of the clear messages coming out of neuroscience is the power of rewards. Rewards trigger the release of dopamine in the brain and that makes us feel good. We want more of it, so we repeat the positive behaviour so we can earn another reward.
Find a way to reward yourself at the end of a project or even as each stage is completed. You don’t have to party; something small will often do. Think about it – how good do you feel when you can tick something off your to-do list? A simple tick can often be reward enough.
Speaking of lists…
According to neuroscientist and author, Daniel Levitin, most people can only hold about four things in their mind at a time. By writing a list of things you don’t want to forget, you free up your brain space, so you don’t have to focus on remembering, and can focus on doing instead.
The other beauty of writing a list is that it gives you time to work out what’s important and what’s not. You can move from one task to another without wasting time dithering over priorities.
Whoever invented ‘multitasking’ has a lot to answer for.
It sounds highly productive, but in reality, it leaves you with lots of half-completed and low-quality work produced. The brain works better by focusing on one task for a decent length of time. Flitting from one job to another at the same time depletes your mental capacity. It’s tiring! Boost your productivity by dedicating your energy and focus on one task at a time. Your results will be far better.
And finally, here’s one more tip…
Look after your health.
It’s inevitable that what you do to your body will have an effect on your brain. Lack of sleep, too much partying, stress… They all affect your brain’s capacity to work properly.
If you want to be productive, remember to allow yourself time off. It sounds counterproductive, but what it does is allow your brain to rest. Go out and enjoy yourself. Spend time with friends and family. Do what you love doing. Go and get some exercise!
Exercise helps reduce the levels of stress hormones in the brain while stimulating endorphins which improve your mood. It also helps keep your brain healthy, improving functions like memory and concentration.
Your brain can be your foe or your ally. By following these four tips, you can make it work for you and boost your productivity every day.
So, what are you waiting for? Off you go…