No doubt about it, our brains are pretty magnificent. Talk about multitasking! We all do it – watch television, read a magazine, realize how great the evening meal smells in the kitchen, listen to the person in the room with us, and be excited about plans for the weekend – all at the same time. We can do this because of our brain’s ability to make all kinds of connections. Our Brains and How They Work is our topic for discussion this week.
Our Brains and How They Work
Our brains have developed over thousands of years. For additional facts on the brain, you can read this informative article located here The Brain.
The basic construction of the brain is divided into three parts:
Primitive brain – this brain region is about the size of an apricot. It controls our essential functions like blood circulation, reading, and indigestion. It also contains our “fight or flight” response to danger and decides whether we will stay and fight or run away. It’s also believed that when we are in stressful situations, the other parts of our brain shut down. It leaves everything up to the primitive brain, which is why we might find it more challenging to think clearly when stressed.
Cerebellum – this part of the brain is called the mammalian brain. It surrounds the primitive brain and processes our emotions and long-term memories. It also processes information learned through our senses.
The cerebral cortex – covers the primitive brain and the cerebellum and makes up about 80% of our brain area. It determines language, thought, reasoning, complex movement patterns, and other things like appreciation of poetry and music.
In addition to these three parts of the brain, we all have millions of brain cells called neurons.Each neuron has its unique function. Neurons use electrical impulses and chemical reactions to and from the central nervous system and within the brain.
Neurons store information and work together in groups to generate actions and reactions and control specific thoughts. Each neuron has the potential for one million billion connections with other neurons. So, even though we only use 5% of our brain capacity, you can see that there is still an enormous amount of activity in our brains.
Left and Right Brain Hemispheres
You may have heard the terms left brain and right brain. It wasn’t until the 1960s that a scientist named Roger Sperry discovered that different activities are associated with different sides of the brain; thus, the term left brain, and right brain thinking was coined.
The left side of our brain is the logical side, the mathematical side. It deals with details and organization and controls our speech and our language. The right side of our brain operates in a less organized way. It handles creativity, interpretation, emotions, imagination, intuition, and spatial awareness.
At one time, scientists thought these two halves of the brain operated independently. Still, more recent thinking believes there is flexibility so that different brain parts can learn new functions.
The Senses and Our Awareness
We all have five senses. Recent evidence shows that the more you can use your senses, the better your memory and thinking ability. The five senses are sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. Our brain interprets the information from the senses to help us act, react, and stay out of danger.
It’s interesting that, although we all have the same five senses, we often don’t agree on what our minds are telling us because of our perceptions. For instance, how often have you been in a room where it’s too hot for you but too cold for someone else? Or vice versa?
How often have you and someone standing next to you disagreed about what you saw while looking at the same thing? How often have you liked the taste of new food, but your partner has the opposite reaction? This is all due to our perceptions of sensual information. Our brains and how they work are very interesting, don’t you think?
The Control Process
The brain controls every area of our body. It starts as an electrical burst of activity in the cerebral cortex and moves to the motor cortex, which sends nerve signals to specific body parts. The signals then move down the spinal cord, along the motor nerves, to the muscles. The calls go to every aspect of our body and control every action. More complex activities that need body parts with more refined control, such as fingers or lips, have more extensive motor cortex areas. And our awareness of this information is essential.
So, what does this have to do with business? It’s important to note that I don’t think you will have a business or anything if you don’t have a brain. Your brain is your Central Intelligence System. It’s critical to your business to be able to use your brainpower for the good of your business’s success. So, it would help if you did everything in your power to ensure that your brain is functioning at a top-notch level to provide you with the lifestyle you want. Otherwise, why be in business?
I’m just a phone call away if you are looking for help, need assistance, or need a business mentor. Book a complimentary call with me, and let’s chat.
We’ve all heard about the mind-body connection right? Because it’s real! What that means is that peak performance mentally requires a healthy body, emotional well-being, and a balanced lifestyle. So, what ways can you think about to get you to have better brain health?
Better Brain Health Tips
Here are a few key points to consider when it comes to making healthy decisions for a healthy brain:
1 – Drinking water – believe it or not, most of us live in a constant state of partial dehydration. This means that our brain functions at less than full capacity. Alcohol dehydrates us and reduces the flow of blood to our brains, which reduces our thinking power. Caffeine does increase our alertness in the short term but also dehydrates us.
The rule is that you should drink eight glasses of water a day and two glasses of water for every cup of coffee you drink.
2 – Eating smart – most of us already know the rules about eating healthy. Unfortunately, it is easier and tastier to eat things that are not good for us. Anyway, a healthy diet consists of the right amounts of protein, complex carbohydrates, and good fats. That means avoiding a lot of things we like, such as processed foods, fried foods, desserts full of simple sugars, and high-fat foods. Instead, concentrate on eating protein, fruits and vegetables, complex carbs, and drinking less water.
Grazing, eating small meals (about 250 to 350 calories a meal) instead of eating three big meals a day, is finding great favor with nutritionists currently because it helps to maintain level blood sugar. It also helps maintain a more constant state of mental alertness, energy, and performance throughout the day.
3 – Sleep – everyone needs to process what happened each day, and that’s done during periods of deep sleep. Exactly how many hours of sleep you need each night is an individual thing that you should determine for yourself, but over time, lack of sleep can lead to poor concentration, low energy, mood swings, and even poor mental health.
4 – Fun/enjoyment – we all need it, even workaholics. Research shows us that taking part in some activities that we enjoy reduces our stress level and improves our immune system.
5 – Brain Training – Programs like Lumosity contain brain training games and puzzles that can help you maintain a sharp and healthy mind. Be sure to actively engage in programs like this on a regular basis.
Once upon a time, creativity was thought to belong to artists and poets. It had nothing to do with the real world and certainly nothing to do with the rest of us. Creativity was something you were born with, and that was that. So how does becoming creative fit in with today’s world? Let’s check this out and see what we can find out!
That idea has taken a 180-degree turn and bitten the dust. In our fast-moving times, whether it’s in science or business or many other areas, innovation and creativity are the things that lead to success. Without them, businesses stagnate and fail.
So, What is Creativity Then?
Two French mathematicians, Hadamard and Poincare, have defined the creative process in the following four steps.
Preparation – You discover a problem and try to solve it with established means.
Incubation – These methods don’t work so you go off and do something else.
Illumination – All of a sudden, the answer appears to you.
Verification – You assess the new idea to see if it’s any good.
It used to be thought that only two types of thinking led to creativity: convergent thinking where you draw on all your resources to solve a problem, or divergent thinkingwhen you solve the problem by seeing it in a different way.
What Do Psychologists Believe?
In the last few decades, psychologists have come to believe that there are many different ways to be creative. They think that creativity is simply a state of mind in which a person is ready and willing to entertain new ideas.
Psychologists also believe that almost all of us can learn to be more creative. Some of us may be more creative than others, but we can all be creative, especially in the areas of the 10 intelligence types, where we have our own unique strengths.
Many times we stifle our own creativity with the little voice that says,” It will never work.” Often we say that about other people’s ideas, too. The thing you need to do is challenge that anti-creativity with a counter-argument. When you do this, you give your own creativity permission to flow.
What Do YOU Think?
Ask yourself open-ended questions like…
– Is there another way to do this?
– What’s the worst that could happen if we tried this?
– Are there parts of this idea that will work?
– What’s good about this?
– How can we make it better?
– What can we do instead?
Practice non-judgmental idea gathering to enhance creativity. Do this and watch your creativity explode. I kid you not! It works, for most people, including me!
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, a remarkable book in which he discusses how our thinking can enhance our quality of life. He explains how a rich, strong, powerful person is no more in control of his consciousness than someone who is sickly, poor, weak, or oppressed. The difference is in whether he sees challenges as threats or as opportunities for action. This is a very interesting topic, a discussion on how turning problems into challenges can benefit you in your business. What do you think?
There are exercises that can help you think better, faster, more clearly. I hope you find some of them in this book, and here’s a link where you can purchase a copy on Amazon Flow. Geez, that’s amazing, right?
The Autotelic Self
What he calls the autotelic self refers to someone who has the ability to translate potential threats into enjoyable challenges, and thus has an internal balance. The term autotelic self means a person who has self-contained goals.
And then there are insights that can change your life. Autoletic thinking turns problems into challenges to be met and learned from. It is an approach that will change your life if you practice it. Now there’s the challenge for you, will you practice it?
adjective: (of an entity or event) having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.
For most people, goals are shaped by biological needs and social conventions – things that are outside the self. The difference is that the autotelic self, or the person who is capable of defining things for himself, is also capable of transforming threats into non-threatening challenges.
This can be done with a simple change of perspective, a shift in consciousness: that is, seeing a threat as a challenge that you can overcome. Isn’t that interesting?
Try a Trial
Once you can do that, the steps are simple:
Be crystal clear about the goal. Once you know exactly what the goal is, you have an understanding of what is needed to meet it. Then you can decide on a series of actions necessary to accomplish the goal. You can modify these actions as needed in order to meet the goal.
Become involved in the activity — This means commitment. This means action. Whether things are going your way or not, you consistently take action with the next best steps. This demands concentration, commitment, and follow-through.
Pay attention to what is happening – This really means that the project becomes more important than your own feelings about what is happening. Your concentration is on the results of the project. You invest your energy in the project. You are committed, you are involved – it’s about the project, not about you.
Enjoying the experience – the autotelic self is able to set goals, develop skills, be sensitive to feedback, get involved, and look past obstacles. The benefit of learning to be an autotelic personality is that anything that happens can be a source of joy because it is a source of learning and a step to the next goal. In other words, there are no failures, only learning experiences.
This approach to thinking can mean the difference between living life in fear or living life in joy. Developing autotelic thinking will give you the ability to transform random events into learning experiences that eventually result in success.
Life is change – by definition and for everyone. Seeing that as a challenge to be accepted, enjoyed, and built on is the “secret” to successful living.
Now you can read the book at your leisure once you’ve purchased it and if you need any help at all, please contact me for a Free Call to see if I might help you with this challenge.
There are four distinct learning styles. Most people will have a preference for one of the four, but to some extent also use the others. The better you use all four of them, the more you will learn from your experiences.
See if you can pick out the learning style that you seem to choose naturally from the four styles below.
– This person enjoys new experiences and dives right in
– So, he likes the excitement of drama or a crisis
– And he enjoys out-of-the-box ideas
– He likes using other people as sounding boards
– This person enjoys theories and concepts
– So, she enjoys intellectual exercises
– And she performs well in structured situations
– She doesn’t like shallow, unsubstantial thinking
– This person enjoys detailed research
– So, he likes just sitting back and thinking
– And he thinks before he acts
– He doesn’t respond well in crises or with time constraints
– This person works well on practical tasks
– So, she enjoys putting things into practice immediately
– And she needs guidelines
– She doesn’t enjoy learning that does not have a practical outcome
If you can see that these four learning styles are all aspects of the complete learning process? In stage 1 the activist has the experience. Stage 2, the reflector, reviews the experience. In stage 3 the theorist makes conclusions from experience. And in stage 4 the pragmatist takes action based on the first three stages.
Today’s topic is all about Three Productivity Tools. Now everyone can use more productivity in their lives, I know that I can. I would rather spend my time doing things that I enjoy, wouldn’t you?
If you’re like most busy people, you’re always looking for ways to increase your productivity.
If you can find a way to:
Limit distractions in this distraction-filled world
Stay focused on a single task at a time
…you’re well on your way to getting more done, but it’s not always easy to get there. Well, thanks to the amazing technology we have available to us today, there are plenty of tools out there that can help.
Abundance of Tools
Here are 3 of our favorite productivity tools to help you limit distractions and stay focused.
Let’s get the distractions out of the way first because even while technology brings us so many great productivity tools, it also brings us tremendous distractions. RescueTime helps you track your time on your computer and your mobile devices and identifies where you’re spending (ahem…often wasting) a lot of your time.
Alert you when you’re spending a certain amount of time on an activity
Allow you to block distracting websites during focus time
Keep track of what you accomplished throughout the day
Identify how much time you spend on a variety of activities, including email, meetings, etc.
You can sign up for a Lite account, which is completely free, or their premium service for added features.
The Focus Booster app is based on the Pomodoro Technique, which is a long-standing productivity technique that uses a timer for focused work periods, usually 25 minutes, followed by a break of 3-5 minutes. After you complete 4 work periods, you get a break of 15-30 minutes. The idea is you stay completely focused on the task during the work period.
There are a lot of apps that can help you execute the Pomodoro Technique, but you can check out Focus Booster. The app is free for up to 20 sessions per month or you can pay a reasonable yearly fee for unlimited sessions and extra features.
The app keeps a timesheet for you and produces a report that allows you to track your productivity and identify ways to become even more productive. And they have a 30 Day PRO Trial also.
Now here’s something very different, but scientifically proven to increase focus and productivity. And if you love music, this is going to be great news for you.
Focus@Will uses human neuroscience and music to help you focus, limit distractions, get productive and retain more information. All you do is answer a few questions and the software will determine the right music to put your brain in a flow state that makes you super productive. Wow!!
Try these Three Productivity Tools and let us know what you think. And hey, if you’ve got a productivity tool you love, can you send me a message? We’d love to gather up your answers and make part 2 for this article with more great productivity tools.
Manage Your Time – how many times have you heard that phrase? Like it’s been beating you in the head forever, but is it actually registering in said head? You know, you’ve heard it a thousand times but if it’s not getting through, then you’re not really listening, are you?
It doesn’t need to be overwhelming if you follow the strategies below.
Get Up Early
The most successful people are early risers and have a morning routine in place. Do you have one?
Morning routines often include:
A regular morning routine will ensure that you start your days successfully.
Creating a to-do list should be a regular habit undertaken daily. The best lists are 10 items or less to ensure that you can complete them. Don’t forget to prioritize the items on the list and review them throughout the day. Checking off items as they are completed will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation.
Sticky notes are ideal for displaying reminders of tasks, motivational quotes, and visualizations. If you’ve got a pile of letters that need to be mailed and that’s an item on your to-do list, why not put a sticky note on top of the pile with a deadline for posting them? It’ll serve as a reminder to get them posted and cleared out of your way.
Of course, you can record your notes digitally using note-taking apps or in a text document, or using pen and paper but have you thought of recording them using a digital recorder? You can get free recording apps for smartphones. By making a voice recording you can replay the recording and listen to your ideas. This will give you the opportunity to listen from a different perspective.
Create a schedule. Using an online planner such as Google Calendar will ensure that you are able to access your schedule on your smartphone, tablet, or computer wherever you are. You can color-code different categories of entry and share with friends, family, and colleagues as necessary.
Use Pen and Paper
For your most important events, tasks and notes use the traditional recording method of pen and paper with a diary, planner, or bullet journal. You can keep it with you at all times, it won’t distract you with messages or run out of power. You’ll also be able to flick through at a glance to see how much you’ve achieved, past or forthcoming events, and outstanding tasks.
Be realistic. Not all tasks and events are created equal. Find a way to highlight events that are essential so that you can see them at a glance and be sure not to miss them. On your lists of things to do always prioritize them and complete the most important first. If there are items that aren’t important or not time-sensitive then consider moving them off your current list and on to another day. You can’t do everything!
If there are items on your list that aren’t important then think about delegating them. You don’t need to try and be a superhero and do everything yourself. Kids can tidy away their toys and when old enough learn how to load the dishwasher, set the table, and do other simple chores. By enlisting the help of other household members you can get more accomplished in less time.
Managing your time properly and efficiently is one of the keys to staying organized. And, it’s also the way you create success along the way when you are working your business. Take these ideas and use them for both your personal life and your professional life. Then you’ll be able to fit more into your day. And even have time to play with your kids and enjoy time with your husband or significant other. Now that’s what I’m talking about!!
Need help figuring out how to create your Time Management Goals? Let’s set up a time to do that. Here’s my booking link to make it easy for you to schedule a time to get together. → Calendar Link This is a free 15 – minute call to see if we want to work together. And then we schedule a time to work on your project. It’s simple and as easy as that!
I would be more than happy to help you figure things out.
When you work for yourself you will need to be both organized and productive while working, every day. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll also get much more done for your clients as well as for your own business. So how can you make sure that you stay organized and productive?
Below are several tips for staying organized and productive. Which ones have made it to your list?
Process your emails
Schedule your calendar
Don’t skip lunch
Clear Out Your Clutter
Your workspace should be clean and clutter-free. By removing distractions, you will make sure that you remain focused on your work. Have a trash can by your desk and use it. If it’s trash, then it isn’t needed so toss it immediately! Add a small container for recycling and put anything that can be recycled into it as soon as you’ve finished with it.
Process Your Emails
Emails are a huge time suck. Instead of just reading them or thinking you’ll read or act on them later take a more structured approach. Set a specific time for dealing with emails each day. Don’t check them in between.
Use folders to organize emails: junk/spam, trash, by project or client, personal and to do. Any emails that require you to take action and that cannot be completed at that moment should be put into the to-do folder. Make it a habit to work through your to-do folder and empty it every day. Have a specific time slot allocated for that each day.
Delete junk, spam, and emails that aren’t important or needed for further action and empty those folders at the end of each day.
When you’re an employee, your break time is usually scheduled for you. But when you work for yourself, then it will be up to you to decide when to take a break. Make sure to schedule regular breaks as these will keep you more focused and productive
If you sit down for a large part of your day you need to take regular time out to get up and walk around. This will keep you fitter and reduce tiredness.
Your body and brain need water to stay hydrated and to achieve optimal performance. Of course, you don’t need to drink plain water all the time but you should limit caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee.
Don’t Skip Lunch
It can be all too easy to skip a meal when you are really busy. However, this won’t actually boost your productivity as you’ll find your blood sugar level will drop and you’ll lose energy and the ability to focus.
Make sure that you’ll always have lunch either ready to go to your office with you. Also, make sure to have a couple of healthy snacks ready to have during the day.
These simple tips will help you to stay organized and productive when you’re working.
Today’s article is all about the 5 Key Habits to Start Your Day. So, what are key habits? They are what you do every single day to keep you organized. Starting your day, the right way will ensure that you’ll feel calmer, happier, and more productive from the get-go. It’ll also make sure that you don’t waste any time searching for missing or lost items. Remember that habits don’t happen overnight. They take at least 21 days to become ingrained into your normal routine so the sooner you start the quicker you’ll become a well-organized morning person.
We’ve all been there when we’ve felt too tired to load the dishwasher, clear the counters or vacuum the family room. Spending a little time every evening tidying and cleaning away the dirt, clutter, and debris from the day really will save you time and angst in the long run.
Make it a fun routine by involving all the family. Set a timer for 15 minutes and zip through those chores. Of course, if you’re on your own it may take slightly longer.
Prepare Lunches in Advance
5 Key Habits To Start Your Day means being prepared. Food preparation takes time and isn’t fun when you’re in a rush to get to school or work. Spending time preparing lunches for all the family the night before ensures you all get a nutritious lunchtime meal which will save you time and money.
Plan ahead so that you know exactly what everyone is having each day of the week. This will make sure you buy or make everything you need so there aren’t any last-minute panics.
Get Clothes Ready the Night Before
How much time have you wasted trying to choose what to wear in the morning? Too much probably and it gets worse if you have kids. Instead, get everyone’s clothes ready the night before. Make sure the entire outfit is on a hanger and that underwear, shoes, and accessories are with it.
An even better habit is to organize the entire week’s wardrobe on a Sunday with everything hung in day order in your wardrobe ready to be picked out on the relevant day. This habit makes everything ideal especially if you have the time to do it.
Write a To-Do List
Write down all the chores and calls you need to do the following day. If they involve dropping off items at the dry cleaner, then bag them and put them by the front door. If you need to post letters or packages then bag them and put them by the door. Your list will make sure you know exactly what you need to do and by having any items ready you won’t leave the house without them! This not only makes you organized it makes you more efficient.
5 Key Habits To Start Your Day also means doing the little things that usually only take a couple of minutes to do. Spend time putting everything you’ll need for a day in your handbag or work bag the night before. You won’t need your iPad or laptop overnight so putting it in your bag or case before you go to bed will make sure you don’t forget it. Any work documents or school books should be put into bags so that they aren’t forgotten or mislaid!
If your children have gym class, football, or another school or after-school activity then get the necessary kit ready in their bags before you head to bed. Put the bag by their school coat.
Starting your day feeling positive and organized really does have a major impact on the way the rest of your day pans out. A chaotic start is hard to recover from. By developing the routines listed above, you can be sure that you and your household will always start your day the right way.
This is also a good way to teach your children about leadership by being a good leader yourself. Then they can do it in their homes once they are adults.
Today’s article is about the 4 changes that can transform your year. A topic of discussion that is critical to your business because it can make or break it. And I’m not kidding here my friends!
Sometimes, making changes that you want to see in your life feels nearly impossible. It takes a willingness to step outside your comfort zone to make significant changes that will transform your life.
If you want to start your year out right, these subtle changes can be the beginning of a happier, healthier life. Whether in your personal life or your business life take that step, you will be better off for it.
Making Good Decisions
Listen to Your Intuition—We like to think life is linear and rational. But more often than not, we make blind decisions based on what we know at the time. But what if you started following your intuition more often than your brain? Often, the right choice is the one we don’t fully understand at the time. Your intuition can lead you down a path you least expect, but that can change your life in exciting ways. Worry less about connecting the dots and spend more time riding the wave. Remember that these 4 changes can transform your year if you allow it to.
Why you Need to Make Changes
Understand Your Why—You want to make changes but find year after year, you have yet to make it happen. One reason for this is that you don’t understand why you want to make the change. Or you understand it, but you focus on how hard it will be to make the change. Look at the big goal you have and ask yourself why you want it. Will it free up time, make you healthier, or make retirement more comfortable? If the answer is yes, you should keep your thoughts on how much better your life will be when you’ve made the change, and then take action. Always start with your “why.” Then make those changes transform your year into one that works better for you.
Convert by Taking Action
Take Action—Often we humans wait until the time is right to do something meaningful. And for this reason, many of us have regrets later in life. And I’m one of those people, you betcha! So, what do you genuinely want? If you can answer that question automatically, it’s time to take action. Any action. It doesn’t have to be the “right” action. But making that first step will lead you to discover the right next steps to take that will lead you to where you want to go.
Take it Step by Step
Stay Shortsighted—Have you ever thought you’d like to make a significant change in your life but then thought yourself out of it? Yeah, this is common and actually happened to me when I first started my business. The “what ifs” scared the hell out of me! When we look too far into the future, we can getoverwhelmed and end up doing nothing. Ask yourself what the first step would be to make that change. Then the next step. And the next one. Most successful people didn’t know where exactly they’d end up. They just knew they wanted to change their lives, and so they did, step by step.
Don’t let the fear of theunknown future steal your happiness today by keeping you paralyzed. Believe me, if I could do it over again, I certainly would take the leap much sooner than I did. All I did was keep my business small and it kept me from making the money I really wanted out of my business. Lesson learned, so learn from me so you don’t make the same mistakes I have.