It’s often that we can fall back to old habits of procrastination. It’s inherent in all of us, but that shouldn’t give an excuse for us to pursue the things that mean the most to us. So, what can you do to get the things that need to be done, done? Here are some tips I recommend.
1. Start Your Morning Fresh Minded and Ready to Go
Not everyone is the same. So, take this advice as you will, but waking up early in the morning and doing the difficult tasks first will improve your productivity. Why? Well after sleeping, your mind and body are getting a sort of hard reset. It’s similar to how your phone eventually can perform slower and the recommendation is often to turn it off for a few seconds and back on. Usually fixing that slowness in return. As we work, go to school, face the difficulties of life ahead of us every day. The morning is usually where our minds are freshest. Studying or working at this time gives you ample time to create a state of hyper-focus. If you’re willing to be an early bird, getting started at this time can prove helpful.
2. Stress Less
In John Medina’s book “Brain Rules”, Medina talks about how stress can affect important brain functions like memory and problem-solving. Medina states that stress can be both good and bad. When there is a bit of stress, you perform better, more efficiently even. It has to do with how our ancestors adapted over time, but this kind of stress can boost performance in studying and problem-solving. Severe stress, the kind you feel when you have to juggle classes and a job, and are not prepared for it. Can create harmful effects on your learning and work life. To be more productive, it’s important to manage your stress levels. For example, setting aside time to make decisions on how you’ll spend your day. Even exercising, talking to friends, family and anything else you find reduces your stress.
3. Chunk Your Ideas, Keep Them Forever
If you remember numbers like 992831, by taking the first 3 numbers (992) and then the next 3 (831). This is known as chunking when you take a big idea and separate it into smaller understandable ideas. You’re improving the way you remember things. If I were to ask you to remember 992831 in full length in 3 seconds starting from when I first showed it to you. You might follow by dividing the number into smaller manageable parts. Why is this important? Well, our brain is powerful, but it doesn’t like to multitask.
It’s believed that your brain can hold up to a maximum of 4 chunks. When you max out these chunks, your brain is being overloaded and whatever it is doing now, must be completed to free up space. If you do not, this can impact your performance and productivity, and even memory. To fight this effect knowing you have a set of tasks to complete. Try to focus on only one at a time, this will allow you to put all your effort and energy into solving the task. You will often feel as if you have decompressed and generated more energy doing things in this manner because you are allowing your brain to free itself of overworking. Chunking is especially powerful to combat burnout, so be sure to focus on improving this skill.
4. Focus, Attention and Music
You may feel at times that when you are trying to give your absolute best to something important in your life, your attention starts to wander off. It feels as though you truly will never be able to learn. This is where it is important to train your focus and attention. The moment you lose attention is when you will find yourself forgetting things.
To prevent yourself from wandering off, you can try to do the following: If your mind starts thinking about something, write that idea down on a piece of paper. This will act as a relief, it will send the message that “Hey, this is something I’m thinking about, but I’m busy now, I’ll come back to it later.” You are giving your brain breathing room to pursue the important things in your life, you have essentially reduced a chunk, to gain a chunk.
So how does music fall into this section? Well music, is a great motivator. The right kind of music can motivate you to focus your attention and gain more from your work or study. In “Brain Rules” By John Medina, Medina states that music can change your mood and send good-feeling chemicals that let it know its in a good mood. During this state, you feel you have more energy and can expect to get a productivity boost. All music is not equal. If you like music with vocals, it might be harder to study, because you are more likely to sing along. I am sure you can imagine how you will not get any work done like that. So, some studies have shown music with no vocals like classical, or if you are a fan of lo-fi beats, can be more beneficial to your excellence.
If you’re interested in more ways to give your life a boost. I recommend reading John Medina’s book, it’s an interesting read. If you click the Amazon link below and purchase the book there, I earn a small commission fee that lets me keep this website going.