Want more productivity and less stress. Me too. Here’s how I do it, especially when I am not at my best (oh come on, it happens to the best of us, right?)
Ok, It is Tuesday and my brain is cooked. It is not usually cooked until Thursday, but this week I think I am combating the ever-present flu that has hit all 5 of my kids, hard. I thought I would take the opportunity to share with you how you can optimize your brain usage across your week to maximize your efficiency and productivity. Then you will know how that schedule can be customized when necessary (like today). There are 3 main ways that you use your brain.
- Produce: you create, you make something, you write something, you produce it. It didn’t exist an hour again and now it does. Wahh lah! This is basically the outputting of stored information or knowledge. Like this article. I have known this stuff for a while and without hesitation I put fingers to keyboard to share it with you today. Producing is my second favorite thing to do in the whole world.
- Learn: Taking in information. You didn’t know something an hour ago, and now you do. This is my very favorite thing to do in the whole world.
- Integrate: Neurointegration happens when you sleep or when you relax, when you go for a walk, when you play with your dog. I just watched a Big Bang Theory episode in which Sheldon takes on a job simply to perform a “menial” task so that he can “drop out his frontal lobe” and “engage his basal ganglia”. This he knows will help him to come up with the solution to a problem he has been thinking about for a long time, on which he is stuck. He can’t think his way to the solution. He has to do the exact opposite. He has to stop thinking for the solution to bubble to the surface. Neurointegration! Ever wonder why you come up with the answer to so many life problems in the shower?
Now, how can you balance these 3 acts throughout your week. Let me tell you.
First of all, you need to include neurointegration into every day and make sure you get enough sleep at night to make it happen on a nightly basis. The number one thing you can do to make sure you do is to take a lunch. I know it sounds brilliant (duh, take a lunch) but many people do not do so. If they do, they make it a working lunch. A “working lunch” does not let the brain relax so it can integrate what you did that morning. You have to actually relax during that lunch period. This is a great way to keep stress at bay too.
Secondly, do the harder thinking tasks first in the day and earlier in the week when you are freshest. For me, I work in my office on Mondays, which is actually refreshing after a weekend with my kids. Then Tuesday and Wednesday, I produce. I spend the days writing, thinking, creating. Thursday, I learn and then I have meetings and accomplish more mindless tasks that do not require a great deal of thinking on my part. Friday, I am back in my office to complete the week.
This week it is only Tuesday and my brain feels like soup. Sooo, instead of calling it a day and doing nothing. I jump to the Thursday agenda. I have a meeting and take care of some mindless work that needs to get done. I don’t love being mindless on Tuesday but it feels so much better than not doing anything at all!