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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How To Think Effectively: 12 Powerful Techniques

How To Think Effectively: 12 Powerful Techniques

Effective thinking is something that can be practiced and developed over time. Everything begins and ends with the brain-heart connection. How you think either connects or disconnects the two.

Here are 12 ways to think effectively that you never thought could be so easy.

1. Identify and Reverse Negative Core Beliefs

“I’m not good enough.” “I don’t deserve this.” We’re all influenced by our past experiences and when we attach negative labels to them, we subconsciously bring them into our present reality.

Think effectively by reversing the negative into a positive and letting that play repeatedly in your thoughts.

2. Powerful Words Trigger Powerful Thinking

“I’m going to try this.” Where’s the power in this statement? Reword it. “I’m going to master this technique and gain customers.”

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Use powerful words that set you up for success in your thinking. Merely ‘trying’ something isn’t motivating. ‘Mastering’ something is very motivating. Think effectively—and powerfully. Powerful thinking promotes powerful action.

3. When It All Comes Down to It, You Are What You Think

So if you think you’re a failure, you don’t deserve success or happiness, or you’re not good enough, your subconscious mind is going to steer you in the direction of what you’re thinking.

To think effectively, you have to think in ways that steer you toward success.

4. When Failure or Crisis Ensues, Always Think, “What Is the Lesson Here?”

Remember, everything begins and ends with the brain-heart connection. Find a valuable lesson that you can profit or benefit from in every traumatic event. That way, when you look back on the situation, you view it as a learning experience, not a traumatic, negative event. Try to find happiness in everything.

5. When You Stop a Project to Think About It, Make Sure You Start It Again

So many great ideas are abandoned because of hesitance or procrastination. When you find yourself at a standstill in the middle of a project and you’re hesitating, go back to point #1. Find the belief that’s stalling you, reverse it, add some power words and dive right back in.

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6. Thinking Too Much Promotes Stagnation

So think like this: Thought…Idea…Vision…Action. Take your thoughts and form an idea. Really visualize the entire idea coming to fruition in your mind. Now, take the steps to make that idea happen.

7. You Can’t Want Something and Have It at the Same Time

A very valuable money coach taught me this concept and when I realized it, I became unstuck. When you’re so busy wanting something, all of your thought processes encompass that desire, that longing. You find yourself saying something like, “I have no idea how, but I have to have that.”

Instead, go to point #6. Take that want, turn it into an idea, envision it clearly and take action to get there. Changing your focus to the status of ‘having’ psychologically triggers the mind to take the necessary steps to get it, instead of remaining in a state of envy.

8. Use Psychological Triggers to Keep Your Brain and Your Heart on the Same Wavelength

For example, in your heart, you know you need to set up a budget. But your brain is saying, “It’s useless, you’ll always be broke.” Don’t give in…reverse your brain’s thought.

Think about how much less stress you’ll have when you know exactly how much you have to spend and where to spend it. This aligns your brain and your heart and motivates you to set up a budget and stick to it. The psychological trigger is less stress.

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9. Before Becoming Hurt or Offended by a Friend’s Actions or Words, Look at Their Heart

Generally, by looking at someone’s heart, you gain a deeper understanding as to their reaction. The result is that it brings forgiveness much more easily and saves your energy for creativity instead of anger and resentment.

10. Check Your Motives

Before you speak or act, make sure what you’re thinking is your opinion and not your friend’s/boss’s/partner’s etc. When you’re thinking, make sure they’re your true, unbiased thoughts and that you’re not seeking approval or being influenced by others.

11. Don’t Bury Icky Thoughts

When you catch yourself pushing an uncomfortable thought or feeling away…don’t. Even if it has a negative emotion attached to it. Let it come all the way up to the surface. Sit in it for a few minutes and truly feel the emotion. Feel it, face it…and let it go.

Don’t suppress icky feelings, because they always rear their ugly head in moments of stress and cause you to act and do things that you’ll regret later.

12. Focus on Right Now…This Very Moment

Not yesterday, not tomorrow. Just right now. It’s all you have…it’s all that matters.

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This way, your actions in the present moment aren’t as likely to be dictated by past experiences. This is the most powerful tool to help you to think effectively.

Learn How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying.

The Bottom Line

By practicing these simple techniques every single day, you will master effective thinking and soon see improvements in your work, your creativity and your relationships. Remember, it’s all about aligning the brain and the heart so they don’t contradict each other.

More Tips to Boost Your Brain Power

Featured photo credit: JessicaGale via mrg.bz

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Lynn Silva

Lynn Silva helps solo and entrepreneurs develop mental skills for business.

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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