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7 Ways to Boost Your Mind in the Work Environment

7 Ways to Boost Your Mind in the Work Environment

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.

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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.

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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.

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    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.

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      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.

      insporeYouthful_Lumosity

        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.

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        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.

        Now that you’re boosted like a linchpin, run your day like a boss!

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        Trending in Productivity

        1 We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why? 2 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away 3 How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits 4 14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress 5 11 Things You Can Do to Increase Employee Productivity

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        Last Updated on January 6, 2021

        14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

        14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

        Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

        In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

        For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

        For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

        Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

        Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

        Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

        How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

        Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

        1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

        Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

        For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

        2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

        Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

        Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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        Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

        3. Create a System

        Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

        This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

        You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

        Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

        Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

        4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

        We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

        If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

        Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

        Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

        5. Use a Ratings Scale

        Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

        Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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        It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

        6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

        This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

        You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

        You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

        7. Offer Feedback Forms

        Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

        First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

        Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

        You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

        8. Track Cost Effectiveness

        This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

        Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

        Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

        9. Use Self-Evaluations

        Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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        Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

        10. Monitor Time Management

        This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

        Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

          The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

          While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

          11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

          We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

          Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

          For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

          Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

          Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

          From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

          12. Utilize Peer Feedback

          This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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          Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

          Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

          It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

          13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

          When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

          Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

          Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

          14. Use an External Evaluator

          Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

          They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

          While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

          Final Thoughts

          These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

          The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

          The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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          Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

          Reference

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