How to keep your brain clear and stay sharp

24 September

Being a modern professional is quite a challenge. Remember how you started reading that one e-mail in the middle of the night, and by the time you’ve finished, you ended up with a huge list of tasks? It’s very easy to lose track, as our performance is constantly threatened by all sorts of distractions. We are bombarded with information both in real life and online, which can make it hard to focus on the task.

Here are five tips on how to deal with all these distractions:

Prioritize

Figure out your goals; this will help you sort out what’s important and what is clearly irrelevant. Dave Kadavy of “Love Your Work” podcast believes that when you have clear priorities, you can act smoothly and swiftly, and when you don’t, you’re second-guessing yourself, you’re scrambling, and you’re prone to making mistakes. Once you feel the incoming information is taking too much of your attention, take a glimpse at your goals. Don’t get carried away by random things.

Plan

Don’t dive into tasks straight away, start with a plan. Understanding that every task has its time in your calendar will let you focus on your current activities better. In addition, don’t forget to book some time for unpredictable tasks, as that makes you flexible. Thankfully, you don’t have to carry a thick diary around – the advances in technology have already fixed that for you. Use planning apps; Asana, Todoist, Evernote, and Trello are some of our favorites!

Control your environment

We spend a lot (if not most) of our time in noisy and crowded environments. As a result, overloading your sensory organs is very easy. Make sure nothing particular catches your eye and try to keep your desk clear. Also, make a set of rules with your colleagues. Agree on how and when you can interact and when it’s a “do not disturb” mode. And to top it all off, try working in silence. Put your phone in “silent mode.” Use headphones or earplugs if needed.

Don’t forget to take breaks

The more work you take, not knowing how to accomplish it, the busier, less effective, and, as a result, more tired you are. If you have a hectic schedule, it’s not always easy to predict how much your time is actually free, and overbooking yourself is not that difficult. That’s why taking breaks is essential. Burning out is real, and it can mess with your workpace. Carve out a free minute to relax, meditate, or just do nothing.

Save unexpected ideas for later

Sometimes ideas can emerge unexpectedly, and we risk drifting away from our main task thinking about solutions for them. But these thoughts might be crucially important. Simply registering them the moment they arise, and then coming back to them whenever you feel like it is a good way of staying on track. This way you’ll feel calm, as you won’t forget anything important, and can let your brain focus on your task. Use anything that works for you, but by far, the most underrated way of taking notes is using voice. Start with any voice assistant (if you’re not using them already), but one of the most undistracting ways to take notes is using Senstone. It is already integrated with your favourite apps like Evernote, and helps you keep your notes organized with the help of hashtags, color-coding, time staps, etc.

 

Take advantage of the latest inventions. At the end of the day, they are the answer to the most relevant problems of the modern day.