Hard work and persistence paves the path to success; there’s no argument there. As the old proverb goes, “success is 99% diligence and 1% wisdom.” However, inefficient and half-hearted diligence changes that ratio and may lead you down the opposite path in the end. If you can do the same amount of work with the same quality in half the time, why wouldn’t you? Maybe you need to cut out your 5th coffee break of the day, take a shorter lunch, or just close Facebook—I know, that one’s a toughie. Better yet, maybe you don’t have to sacrifice any of your vices that help get you through the day. Maybe what you need is just to concentrate harder during your work time! Since it’s time to say goodbye to the summer vacation and go back to either work or school, let’s talk about how to prevent a scattered brain and achieve a fruitful fall!
No matter how old you are, you should always hold on to your inner child in some respects. Think what you would do if your little bundle of joy got straight A’s, or achieved to a high academic or personal standard. That’s right, maybe a little extra desert, or a new toy. So what about yourself? After keeping your brain running at 100 mph all work week, it’s time to relax and reward yourself—give a little reminder as to why you work so hard! Even little incentives can recharge your batteries, keep your spirits up, and empower you for your next battle. Whether it’s eating some of those jelly beans that sit on your desk and taunt you all day, buying those new shoes you know you deserve, or just turning your phone off for an hour or two and going for a walk—reward yourself! Replace feelings of guilt, with feelings of reward, because you know you deserve it.
Make a Plan
Due diligence is half the battle. It is natural to become enthusiastic about an idea or plan and want to go into it swinging blindly. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day; plan your course then attack. You do not have to draft up a strategic marketing plan or a constructive financial plan, but a little to-do-list or some notes would offer focus and guidance so you do not stray off your path. Those little bullets help you focus on one task at a time, and prevent your mind from being caught up in nagging thoughts or pulled in different directions only to eventually overwhelm you. You can write the lists down on an eye-catching post-it before you hit the sack the previous night, jot down some notes in your iPhone or Blackberry when you are doing your morning exercises. In a nutshell, give yourself some deadlines and work on your checklist one piece at a time without getting distracted or overwhelmed.
Mix Up Your Tasks
It’s human nature to become jaded from time to time, especially when dealing with monotonous work. What usually follows that boredom is distraction; anything to offer yourself some change. This applies to studying, working, or doing anything that requires your full attention. Of course you’re not going to ask your teacher to reassign your homework or your boss to re-plan a project just for the sake of your boredom. So how can you keep your mind engaged, while still seeing results? The remedy is: mixing it up! Find your to-do-list (see ‘make a plan’), and do something else on the list. Don’t begin too many projects at once to avoid that overwhelming feeling, but instead of writing a ten page report all at once, do a few pages then get started on contacting some leads and scheduling a few meetings. Also instead of getting chained to your desk, you can mix up your environments; do something at home, something in the public library, and something in the coffee shop nearby. Switching tasks and locations help you stay alert, motivated and enthusiastic.
Get Some Sleep
Your brain is just like a spoiled kid. No TLC? Then revenge! The same goes for your brain—no rest is a recipe for you’re a mental embargo. We have all been through some sort of sleep-depriving event. Be it the college all-night cram session before finals, or your new-born baby keeping you up all night, or even that work deadline you had to get in; we all know the repercussions. You are not yourself when you do not get enough sleep. Have you ever stayed up all night studying only to find that you were too tired to concentrate on the actual exam you had to take the next day? Yup-- counterproductive isn’t it? According to scientific research, 7 hours of sleep is the ideal amount of rest time for an adult, while kids need about 10 hours. Of course, oversleep is not recommended either. You don’t want to spoil your kids, right? Find a healthy balance that works for you; don’t waste the day away sleeping, but give yourself enough time to recharge your batteries and refresh your mind and body.
Eat Light and Healthy
Sleep is the food for your brain, but what about your body? If the saying (not taken in the literal sense, of course) holds true and you are what you eat, then a light and healthy diet will turn you into a quick and energetic pro. Nothing slows down the brain more than a greasy and fat meal! We have all experienced that notorious, way-too-familiar after lunch lethargy. Chalk that one up to your indulgent lunch! Overeating requires overloading digestion for your body, which steals the energy that is saved for your brain. So want a clear mind? Eat light! Still need some help? Phix to the rescue! The yerba mate, green tea and Vitamin B ingredients offer you an immediate lift without any negative side-effects often experienced after consuming standard energy drinks. If you want to be healthy, remember the butterfly effect; one small healthy decision can lead to a healthier lifestyle.
Best of luck,
Your friends at Phix