Jumping out of bed heading headfirst into the day is how most people begin their day. Flooded first with tasks that are necessary for the survival of ourselves and then our loved ones, especially if one is a parent or a caregiver. Leaving very little time for anything else unless purposefully scheduled. After we tend to the most important tasks to start our day, the mind needs to shift to commuting or clearing the necessary space to create a conducive workspace. Once arrived at our place of work then another shift in the mindset to yet another to-do list of tasks with deadlines. These timelines alone are enough to shift the mind into overdrive. So, how could someone possibly think of anything else but to simply jump on the workload treadmill and begin running as fast as possible to get it all done before the end of the day? Throw in a shortened day for any possible doctor visits, kids activities, or vacation time and it can feel like there is never enough time.
So you can see why finding any time during the day is really not an easy task to contemplate, for we are truly wired for productivity and most of our schedules are jam-packed. Doesn’t high productivity mean producing, which means working faster and harder? It would seem to be so, but let’s take a look at the working smarter, not harder factor. We all have the undesirable feeling of being overwhelmed with daily tasks. It does have a way of defeating us before we even get started with our lists especially when we are already limited on time. Not to mention, that a distressed kind of thinking makes it harder to prioritize and discern the most vital aspects on our lists, which in turn may actually make our day easier and even enjoyable. What if there were a way to put the work smarter not harder idea to the test? What would that mean and how would you even go about doing so?
Have you ever noticed that once you have completed a task how it suddenly becomes easier every time you repeat the same task? This can be true for just about anything, for you begin to recognize patterns, find ways to do it faster, and even come up with how to improve on it or even eliminate the need for it entirely. What if you could do this without having to repeat the task over and over again? Just like simply skipping to the above end result? Mental rehearsal is a method that has been proven over the years to enable the mind to have the same firing neurons as you would have when actually doing the activity. Professional athletes, entrepreneurs, and performers utilize this skill quite often. The Genius lies in taking this idea and applying it on a more daily basis. The next time you are sitting in front of any do list whether at work or at home. First, read the entirety of the list. Second, see if there are any connections in each of the tasks. Then pick a specific task on your to-do list that may require more detailed effort on your part. Next, visualize yourself accomplishing it by tapping into all bodily senses, but in a way that best suits your needs and lifestyle. Follow this by completing the task as close as you can to what you have just envisioned. Yes, it may take a little time to use this visualization technique. However, what you will find is that the process will not only be easier but in fact more enjoyable. Visualization is a meditation process that does get stronger the more it is utilized. The best part of this process is that it draws on your inner knowledge, insight, and abilities in a way that may have otherwise been left untapped.
Untapped potential is one of the most universal aspects one has regrets besides the underutilization of time. Our time is one of the most precious things we have. We would like to think we use it wisely, but even the most accomplished individuals have had second thoughts as to whether or not they used it in the best way possible. Steve Jobs as successful as he was, attests to the limiting factors of time, especially in his last legacy. Einstein too felt that time was but an illusion. If our days are stacked only by how much gets done in a day then do we really have a chance to live a life that grants time to get to know ourselves? What are our capabilities or gifts and which ones may need to be honed or sought out? In order to harness the most out of our minds and get our brains to perform at the level at which we desire, shouldn’t we think of it as a power source, to begin with? The brain is roughly three pounds and is primarily composed of 60% fat, but has enough electrical current to illuminate a normal iridescent light bulb. It consumes 20% of the energy from the entire body and burns roughly 400 to 500 calories. In order to keep our minds powered it requires proper nutrition with healthy fats, staying well hydrated, sufficient sleep, daily exercise, restful periods, as well as protection against toxins and head trauma. The brain can be susceptible to many aspects that affect productivity. For one the brain's high-fat content enables it to absorb toxins easily since fat cells do absorb toxins, slowing processing timing. It has a butter-like consistency with an intracranial space between the brain and the skull, making it also for possible head trauma if not cautious. Since our health, energy, and processing speed of our brains are dependent upon so many factors to keep them functioning well, it just seems to make sense to supply the brain with what it needs.
Everything needs a supply of energy. In order to run our cars, we need gas, electric or both as in a hybrid. As for our devices, we know that they need to be plugged in after so much usage or they will fail to function at its maximum capacity. Interestingly, our bodies function in the same way when it comes to energy. Energy needs vary from person to person and are very dependent on activity. This can also fluctuate depending on how we choose to fuel our bodies, how much we hydrate if we exercise, and most importantly if we get sufficient sleep or not. However, the biochemistry of how we produce and burn energy is all similar as long as there are no illnesses. Since sleep is the best way to get a full recharge, then making it more of a priority seems evident. Although most of us know this, it is one of the priorities that gets pushed aside followed by proper nutrition, hydration, exercise, and even restful periods. Yet, we still expect the same results when we are now running on low voltage. It is fascinating to know that the Brain will still take the necessary 20% of its energy needed and leave the body what is left. This depleted energy supply makes it hard to keep up with the demands of the day. Even when workloads do not intervene, it is not always is to get sufficient sleep. This is when unplugging during the day has tremendous benefits.
While many people couldn’t imagine disconnecting from their work environment for any length of time during the day, there are many others that couldn’t imagine their day without unplugging, so to speak. This regenerative time should be retrained in the mind to be thought of as plugging in or better yet a recharge. Thoughts will arise and come and go during these mindfulness periods but what happens to both your mind and your body is an incredible downshift to slower brain wave patterns conducive to both restoration and creativity. The slowing down of the respiration rate, muscle conductivity, and heart rate alone is worth the time and effort. Not to mention, the amazing way in which it quiets our sympathetic nervous systems to allow our parasympathetic systems to calm and heal both the mind and body. The potential to have clearer more level-headed focused thinking is a benefit that can be felt over time. All of this, by simply carving out small increments of time or “a recharge”. The word meditation often makes many people feel as if large blocks of time are necessary in order to access any benefits. The beauty is that building a meditation practice can be as easy as just taking a few minutes out of the day. The most important part is to make it more of a daily practice. Guided meditations are a great way to learn the facets of meditation making it fun and applicable to daily inspired living. The Potential is truly endless and your increase in productivity might just astound You!