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The Morphing Mindset: Transform These 5 Habits to Boost Your Productivity

The Morphing Mindset: Transform These 5 Habits to Boost Your Productivity

    Productivity is the result of the decisions we make and mindset we have. These things in turn create habits that we tend to follow, sometimes too rigidly.

    Do you want to make a positive change inside you that leads to better productivity and improved self-confidence?

    If so, then I suggest that you take a look at these common unproductive habits that hold you back and transform them into productive ones.

    1. Complaining -> Taking action

    I used to belong to the group of people who complained a lot. Mostly it was about the job I hated, but I had other things that I complained about too.

    Yet at some point I came to realize that maybe I should do something about those things instead of complaining about them. Maybe I’m the one who has to make things happen…

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    Finally, I understood that taking action was the only way to move forward. I didn’t want to waste my time and energy on something useless like complaining.

    I think that this is a good guideline for any of us. If there is something bothering you that isn’t right, think to yourself: Is it going to get better by complaining or can you do something about it?

    I bet that in many situations the latter option is the best one.

    2. Assuming -> Confirming

    My former boss used to say the following:

    “Assuming is prohibited.”

    What he meant was that one should always be sure of something so that the right action could be taken.

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    Although this habit saves you from many headaches, be ready to face your fears when you transform this habit.

    In order to confirm things and being sure of something, you have to ask questions to understand the situation better. For some people, this is not an easy thing to do since they may feel that others think that they are stupid — or even incompetent — when they ask for more information.

    Of course, this isn’t so.

    Confirming or asking questions is a better way to move forward than pondering the issue by yourself and taking wrong action — one which is based on assumptions.

    Confirming makes you more confident and productive, because you know what to do and are not guessing what to do.

    3. Being a Victim -> Being Responsible

    It is easy to take on the “victim role” instead of being responsible of your own actions. This also means that instead of being true to yourself, you are more willing to blame your boss, your work, your environment or the people you associate with when you are feeling lousy.

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    Understandably, it may not be easy to admit that perhaps the problem lies within you. However, you really have to admit that because of your past actions you find yourself in the current situation.

    You create your own reality by the decisions you make and the actions you take. If you are not happy with things the way they are, then start creating a plan to change things.

    Here’s an example: If you are not happy how your body looks, start making lifestyle changes — and find out the phone number to the nearest nutrition coach to help you out.

    After you realize that you can make the change and that you have to take the responsibility, things start moving for the better and the victim days are soon behind you.

    4. Fixing the Symptoms -> Fixing the Root Cause

    When something unexpected happens, you do whatever is needed to put things back to normal. However, when the same unexpected thing starts to happen on a recurring basis, fixing the symptoms is not enough anymore.

    For instance, when you feel sick to your stomach you can take medicine to fix the situation. However, when this same symptom occurs on a frequent basis, you should spend more time and energy to analyze what is causing your stomach ache in the first place and fix that instead.

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    Spend a bit more time on finding and fixing the root cause – instead of wasting your time on dealing with the symptoms.

    5. Easiest Task First -> Hardest Task First

    Working on the easiest task first is a very compelling thing to do. You don’t have to stress about the task that much because it is fun. You are also feeling comfortable because you don’t have to push yourself outside your comfort zone.

    On the other hand, if you’re willing to take action on the hardest task first, you’ll be prouder of yourself and this will give you a self-confidence boost.

    When you handle the challenging task before the easy one, it is not lurking in the back of your mind anymore and you can fully focus on your other tasks that you have to take care of.

    No matter whether or not you are able to accomplish this hard task at once, the main point is that you are acting on the task now so that you can fully enjoy the fun tasks later.

    So…has your mindset morphed?

    (Photo credit: Businessman with Superhero Suit via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

    8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

    You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

    Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

    When you train your brain, you will:

    • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
    • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
    • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

    So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

    1. Work your memory

    Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

    When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

    If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

    The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

    Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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    Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

    What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

    For example, say you just met someone new:

    “Hi, my name is George”

    Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

    Got it? Good.

    2. Do something different repeatedly

    By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

    Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

    It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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    And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

    But how does this apply to your life right now?

    Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

    Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

    Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

    So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

    You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

    That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

    3. Learn something new

    It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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    For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

    Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

    You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

    4. Follow a brain training program

    The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

    5. Work your body

    You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

    Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

    Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

    Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

    6. Spend time with your loved ones

    If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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    If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

    I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

    7. Avoid crossword puzzles

    Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

    Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

    Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

    8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

    Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

    When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

    So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

    The bottom line

    Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

    Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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