I am the worst when it comes to good time management. I procrastinate so badly, I have paid visits to therapists over the years to learn different techniques to improve my organizational skills. What ends up happening to me is that I rush to do a lot of work in a short amount of time. Of course, the end result is almost always negatively affected, and I know I need to change my ways, but trust me when I say it’s hella difficult.
Entrepreneur.com posted a list Monday of five things people can do to get the most out of their brains. And no, waiting until the last minute to do things and then hastily doing a week’s worth of work in one night isn’t on the list. They have listed five tips people can use to learn how to focus better and use their brain more efficiently.
1. Start your day with mind-calming activities
I do this. I watch some TV in the morning or do a crossword puzzle. You just need to give your brain some time to get revved up; you can’t just start the engine as soon as you open your eyes and go 100 MPH. My problem is I spend too much time doing this and don’t get my work fast enough. That leads into the next tip … .
2. Schedule “do not disturb” time
I read this as don’t schedule a specific hour to do work and then only do work for that hour. It’s more about how you should set a time to work on a task and stick to it. Do what needs to be done, but make sure you take it one task at a time or else you will be putting way too much stress on your brain.
3. Apply the brakes on distractions
So much easier said than done. But when you start working, again, stick to it. Avoid TV or e-mails or your cell phone. Devote time to the business you need to handle and focus only on that business. And if you do get distracted, according to business and wellness coach Margaret Moore, “Notice the distraction, take a deep breath and make a conscious choice to stay with the focus or follow the distraction if it’s urgent, rather than allowing [it] to hijack your attention.”
4. Take frequent brain breaks
You can only work so hard for so long. It’s positive to give yourself a break every now and then to refresh your brain. Take a short walk or something like that. As a writer, taking a break often allows me to relax and use different patterns of thinking, which can lead to fresh ideas. Just make sure that you are able to jump back on task in quick order.
5. Fuel your brain
When you’re working hard and spending so much time to get things done, it’s easy to forget to eat properly. But as the article states, your brain needs nutrients — lean proteins, healthy fats, vegetables and complex carbs — to remain at its peak performance. Don’t just grab a doughnut because it’s quick and simple. I figure that getting a good meal can also be worked into your brain breaks.
Now, if you can follow those tips and stick to them, well, you’re probably a better person than me.