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Brain Training

Posted On - 08/04/2016 07:59:03

You can't avoid mental fatigue. You can't avoid emotional stress. But you can manage themYou can't avoid mental fatigue. You can't avoid emotional stress. But you can manage them.

Like physical exercise you can prepare yourself before, pace yourself during and recuperate after.

The key lies in understanding how using self-control taxes will power and leaves you mentally fatigued. Everyone's different so blanket rules are hard. But if you're interested to learn more about how to train your brain, read on…


Most people find doing new things hard. Add in the need for self-control and they'll find them exhausting. If your job is active and involves working with people to get things done, how's the prospect of an afternoon sitting on your own at a computer checking spreadsheets?

Intellectually the job's well within your grasp. But all that sitting still, staring at a screen, working on your own – no way!

It's the self-control that's driving you nuts. You're used to – and your brain wants you to do - the very opposite. Yet to someone used to work like this it's easy. Just don't ask them to spend all day on their feet running around talking.

Forewarned is forearmed

Familiarity with the job only goes so far. Many common tasks are taxing regardless. Switching jobs, cold calling, checking and correcting work, project planning, tracking deadlines, dealing with complaints and processing emails are some.

Sure, as processes they can be learned. Problem is the substance of each is different each time. And while they might be familiar parts of your day they never become a non-conscious routine. So they always remain taxing. Now as a business owner, these are the ‘meat-and-drink' of what you do. You can't not do them. So what do you do?

Take a break

Breaks are wasted time to be minimised. Breaks are the chance to catch up with who's said what on Facebook. Play a computer game. Read the paper. Look at a news website. Anything to get away from the boredom of work!

Let's get something straight here. Work breaks are none of these.

If you want to manage your mental and emotional energies you must use breaks properly. Breaks are for refreshing your mind. Breaks are for replenishing, stabilising and resetting. Breaks are a bit like a ‘hard' reboot. They are a key behaviour in time management. You need to understand how to take them properly. Much more on this in "Dirk Gently and Time Management".

Oil and water

Email and breaks DO NOT mix. We keep banging on about them don't we - but it's because they're so dangerous! Checking email is so innocent. Two minutes - a quick look and dabble. Knock off a few. Keep on top of them...

No, No, NO!

Email is a mentally and emotionally draining task. It hinges on complex decision making. It's the direct, exact, complete and utter opposite of what taking a break should be about! In fact it's so dangerous we'd strongly advise you only look at email when you've diarised a meeting to see it! No joke, email is this toxic.

Stop looking at it first thing in the morning! If you must because of an SLA then at least do it after you've planned you day properly. But for everyone else, make email a task for the afternoon. Save your precious morning time for getting what you really need to do done.

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