This article will be the summary of the posts I have been uploading to social media this week (w/c 26th February 2018). My goal is to share my top 5 tips regarding boosting productivity, brain power and getting shit done. I’ll be explaining what my choices are, why I’ve chosen them plus my anecdotal experience of how to get the most out of them. They’ll be no research review on this one, but I can promise that what I’ve used here have massively helped me in ensuring I consistently put out content and stay on top of my workload.
- Binaural Beats
Binaural beats can readily be found on YouTube. They work by playing waves of differing frequencies in each ear. This causes your brain to harmonise in the middle, creating an optimum state for focus, concentration and relaxation.
Now although I’d love to go in to a lot more depth regarding the actually biological science behind the process, this is again beyond the jurisdiction of this article. All you need to know is that when I use binaural beats, I notice a huge improvement in being able to “zone in” and get work done without distraction. Words and sentences are more easily found and my writing flows with little difficulty. I think my record whilst using binaural beats is writing 1,000 words in less than half an hour.
I use Binaural beats on a daily basis, such as the one here.
Luminosity is something I came across in the summer of 2016. It’s a brain training website where you can increase a number of different cognitive qualities such as arithmetic, memory, speed, attention and much more. It is essential, playing games, however don’t be fooled in to thinking this app is juvenile in any format. The system works by doing 10-15 minutes per day and giving you a score at the end. You can monitor progress and see where you rank amongst people of the same age.
Just like you’d warm up your muscles prior to a training session, I use this website for 10-15 minutes prior to starting pieces of work that require focus, attention and creativity. I’ve found this “mental warm up” extremely useful and would highly recommend it to anyone who has to study or write a piece of work.
Audio books have allowed me to combat my greatest foe in life; rush hour traffic. I plan my day specifically so I don’t have to sit in bumper to bumper traffic but working in the city centre this sometimes can be unavoidable. The Audible app has allowed me to listen to an array of topics whilst being on the go.
Now I’m not going to start with conspiracy theories or my take on modern society, but the majority of radio shows annoy me. I personally believe they attempt to shape our way of thinking by putting impetus in to the more negative events in the world and making us believe that the only thing we have to look forward to is going out and getting drunk at the weekend.
Annnnnyway, that’s a different article altogether. Moving away from my Illuminati style rant I believe audio books are excellent for gathering concepts but not necessarily information. So for example, I steer clear from educational books such as biological, biomechanics and nutrition as these may require not taking or a visual stimulus from a graph or picture. My preference is books on business, mindset and marketing as here you are listening to stories and opinion and can format your own beliefs, not facts, easier. So what I mean by this is you may hear something that resonates with you in a book about business. This concept then inspires you to take your own twist on is and apply it to your business. You can’t do the same with biochemistry as these require the retention of factual based information that won’t change.
4. Note Pad
Such a simple tool yet probably my most utilised application. I once listened to a talk on YouTube by Simon Sinek about how he purposefully writes out goals so he can gain the dopamine hit from the satisfaction of crossing them out. It’s an incredibly simple theory but you wouldn’t believe how effective it is.
Based on his talk, you should technically write them out on a piece of paper. However, I sold out to technology and instead make the notes on my phone each evening. Now it’s very tempting to write a colossal list of absolutely everything that needs doing in your life; tax return, client programmes, articles, book on how to build the perfect body. This is a bad idea. Although it my seem like a noble idea to write a lot of things down, you are actually causing a disadvantageous scenario for your brain. We relish small, manageable tasks. We procrastinate anything that may seem daunting or time consuming. Think back to essays in school, the hardest thing was starting them when not even the title had been written, once you get going, the task isn’t as bad.
Before you go to bed each day, write down no more than 5 tasks for the next day. These must be specific and broken down segments of a greater goal, not the greater goal itself. I would not write “do module 1 screening assessments book” in my notes, but rather, “do 3 pages of assessment examples section for module 1 book”. This gives me a manageable time frame (around 30 minutes) which will be required to do the task.
Once you have done this it simply becomes a matter of strategically planning your day so that the said tasks get done. It sounds overly simple but it works.
5. Think long term
This may sound like a contradiction to the last point but it’s an essential part of content development and project management. When looking to get someone stronger, you must see how much they can currently lift, calculate what they’d like to lift, the time you have to achieve the goal and then the increments that are needed each week. By looking at the long term goal you have acquired information about what is needed to be done right now. Tasks are exactly the same. It was my goal to have 100,000 words worth of content online by the end of 2017. This was done by writing a minimum of 2,000 words a week. My goal now is to have 1,000,000 words worth of content online by 2022. This sounds like an incredibly daunting feat, however it just means I have to consistently upload 620 words a week as we currently stand.
Long term visions are built through the execution of basic and manageable daily tasks. Remember this before taking on any project.