Are You Making The Most Of Your Day?

getting things done Apr 15, 2019

How many hours do business leaders, Presidents, or Nobel Prize winners have in a day? How many hours do you have? 

Everyone gets the same 24 hours, the same 1440 minutes each day. However, most people get overwhelmed by the long list of tasks that awaits them at the start of the day. These tasks can be unanswered emails, stacks of files, a pending report or something else. 
 
The root cause of the reaction lies in the amygdala in the medial temporal lobe of the human brain. The amydgala forms part of the limbic system and triggers an emotional response to an external stimulus. The fact that humans are hardwired to feel an emotional reaction means that everyone experiences it. While some decide to give up, others persevere and learn how to overcome it. 
 
The Key Is To Find Strategies That Help Coach The Brain... 
The frontal lobe is responsible for critical cognitive skills like judgement, language, and most importantly, problem-solving. When the frontal lobe takes control instead of the amygdala, you can calmly dismantle the problem with a plan instead of running into emotional chaos. Here is a blueprint for creating an effective problem-solving plan. 
 
Step 1: Preparation 
 
Before you sign off for the day, make a list of to-dos for the next day. Creating a list of tasks brings certainty into the equation by consolidating your responsibilities for tomorrow, thereby taking away your stress. People often underestimate how draining it can be to remember all the tasks. Writing them down allows people to know precisely what the next day has in store for them and prepares the brain to tackle with it. 
 
Step 2: Prioritize 
 
Populating a to-do list is easy. Prioritizing is what makes a to-do list effective. Select the three most important tasks and put them on the top. These tasks must be completed at the end of the day and within a stipulated time frame. This sense of urgency prevents you from falling pretty to procrastination. 
 
Step 3: Act 
 
Most plans fail at this step. Media has glorified the concept of multitasking. People working on their desktop, while simultaneously texting on the smartphone and reading a book might look like the very machines of productivity. But that’s all there is to it – they only “look” productive. Human brains do not work at optimum performance when they multitask. Pick out one task from the plan based on its urgency or simplicity, concentrate your efforts on it. Once you complete it, move on to the next task. If the overwhelming feeling is setting in, pick out the smallest task from the list and get it done. 
 
Step 4: Break 
 
The pre-frontal cortex is responsible for thinking and focus. After each session of productive work, it requires a break to recalibrate. Your productivity plan must make space for 10-minute breaks after each intense session of focused work. Light stretching, walking, and even leisure can help. Breaks prevent fatigue, reaffirm your motivation, and enhance your decision-making ability. 
 
As people get into a habit, it gets easier to create plans and follow through. People underestimate what they can do in a day and overestimate what they can do in a year. By taking full advantage of the 1440 minutes every day, the year automatically becomes highly productive. 
 
Move forward. Don’t stop. That’s the only way to success. 
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