Seth Godin wrote a book called Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
Linchpins are “people who invent, lead (regardless of title), connect others, make things happen, and create order out of chaos… They love their work, pour their best selves into it, and turn each day into a kind of art.”
Linchpins are the new way to behave “like-a-boss” and I propose that in order to boost your mind in the work environment you need to do what a linchpin would do. Perhaps, if you behave like a linchpin long enough, you actually become one!
Wouldn’t that be cool if your company thought you were indispensable?
Talk about job security.
As a linchpin myself, because I’m an artist and I share my art, I’ve constructed the following actionable items to help you be the power-house, productive, and passionate individual you know in your heart of hearts you are.
1. Prepare your mind through subconscious programming.
Imagine that your brain is a computer – the hardware – and your subconscious is the software, and you are the programmer. I submit that you can program your brain by giving your subconscious suggested behavior patterns.
Tell your brain what to do by using the method called subliminal programming.
Think of this mind boosting exercise as just another way to set achievable goals for yourself. Try the following exercise, tell your self what you want to accomplish the next day, and see if you actually do what you tell yourself.
I have learned that the subconscious is more amenable to subliminal programming, or a term I prefer to use — positive suggestions — when you are in the almost-asleep state. So right before you fall into a deep sleep, as you lay in bed with your eyes closed, suggest to yourself how the next day will unfold.
For example, I will recommend to my subconscious: “Tomorrow you will start the blog post on such and such.” Then I repeat what I said back to myself, “I will start the blog post on such and such tomorrow.”
I choose to use the word “you” in the first sentence to suggest the task to my subconscious and then I repeat it back using the word “I” to take ownership and acknowledgment of the said task. This is my own personal way of positively suggesting goals to myself and it works.
This technique is not new, nor is it that strange. Advertisers bombard you daily with subliminal suggestions; why not use the same technique they use to get people to buy cigarettes to help you perform better at work.
2. Eat a nutritious breakfast and healthily every day.
Breakfast is one of the more important meals of the day and is a key factor in the productive lifestyle of a linchpin because breakfast jump starts your day.
Breakfast revs up your metabolism. Metabolism is a complex process that converts food into energy. If you do not have enough energy at the beginning of the day, how productive will you be at the start of your work day?
Eating a healthy breakfast will boost your mind and performance at work.
Starting your day with nutritious food will put you on the best path to making healthier decisions on the rest of your meals throughout the day.
Like all fuel isn’t the same, neither are breakfast foods. Choose wholefoods like eggs, fruits, and vegetables over bagels and pastries because ingredients such a high-fructose-corn-syrup and grains can sabotage your energy by spiking your insulin levels.
When possible, choose organic vegetables, potatoes, and fruits as your carbohydrate energy source because they may induce higher amounts of serotonin in your brain which will help you be in a good mood, laying the foreground to your creative and prolific work onslaught.
Lastly, feed yourself well throughout the day to maintain ideal energy stores to keep you motivated and productive at work.
3. Create your gold medal plan of attack.
I don’t need to tell you that Olympians are linchpins to the 10th power- correct?
So right when you walk into your office, write down your plan of attack which is a list of the top 3 most pressing things you need to accomplish that day.
If you get all 3 done, you won the gold! You get 2 done, that’s the silver, and you know how to get the bronze medal.
Writing down a set number of tasks will boost your mind by helping it to stay focused.
Numerous books have been written about what differentiates successful people from the pack. One of those factors is the ability of the successful person to regulate what happens in a course of their day.
American entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and linchpin Jim Rohn famously said, “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”
4. Periodically stretch throughout the day.
A sedentary body gets tired, bored, and lazy. Continuously wake your brain and body with simple stretches.
Stretching increases blood flow, aiding in the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the brain and body.
Here are 4 simple stretches to do at your desk.
5. Take a midday mental break with rest or physical exercise depending on your energy level.
Each person has a circadian rhythm, a 24 hour biological clock displaying the rhythm of their body systems.
Become aware of your own rhythm and energy capabilities so that you can use the hours in a day efficiently.
For me, the afternoon is a good time for a mental break because my energy systems are at a low. During this time I like to go for a walk, read, or take a nap. For another person, the afternoon may be a high energy time and physical exercise is how they prefer to rest their mind.
Either way, both rest and physical exercise will boost the mind in the work environment by giving a mental break from the daily grind of work. When you return to work, you will feel energized to finish your day strong.
6. Exercise your brain daily.
Do brain performance enhancing exercises to boost your mind at work.
I personally use Lumosity as my go-to brain exercise tool. They have helped me improve my brain speed, flexibility, attention, memory, and problem solving skills.
Just like physical exercise helps you keep your muscle strength, brain exercises will assist you in keeping your mental aptitude.
In this competitive world we live in, you need to keep your machine – your brain and body – in tip top linchpin shape. This is how you become indispensable. This is how you separate yourself from the pack.
7. Meditate daily.
Meditation has been proven to increase brain function and total well-being.
The act of meditating can seem daunting to the inexperienced person, but in reality, meditating is just being aware of your breath and what’s going on in your head.
Meditating is the act of slowing down and reconnecting back to you.
Liken meditation to passing GO on the Monopoly board game. Each time you pass GO, you take stalk of your holdings and where you are in the game- same thing with meditation.
You’ve been playing the game of life all day and now you have to GO “within” to take stalk.
Here is a simple meditation I do to collect my thoughts, de-stress, and reconnect back to me.
- Sit in a chair with good posture, placing your hands on your lap with the palms facing up.
- Close your eyes and observe how you breathe for 5 breath cycles.
- Listen to your inhale and exhale. Feel how your breathing slows down, your heart rate enjoying an unhurried pace, and your general body starting to relax.
- Let any thoughts that may appear in your mind come and go. If one thought persists, give it some attention. Ask the questions you feel you need to ask in order to solve or assuage the thought. Then let it go.
- Think of the wonderful things that happened in your day. Smile and give gratitude to these things.
- Think of the people and pets you love. Smile and give thanks for having them in your life.
- Finish with thanking yourself for trying every day. Perhaps tell yourself some affirmations that make you feel good. You can borrow some of mine:
- “You are everything you want to be.”
- “You are loved and supported by the universe.”
- “You are amazing and I love you.”
- I know my affirmations are sentimental, but they make me feel good. Choose ones that work for you. I only recommend that they are stated in a positive way and make you feel good.
- Finish by going back to observing your breath.
A meditation such as this can take 5 minutes or longer. If you are a novice I would recommend starting with a few minutes and adding time when you are ready.