Closing the gates… and unlocking your full potential. A healthy brain is a joy forever, but the average person uses only half the potential our brain can give us.
The human brain is unnaturally big compared to our fellow animals. We are a real anomaly in Darwin’s theory, yet we survived using exactly this phenomenal thinking instrument.
Especially people who live in big cities like New York and London tend to fill their brains with a constant flow of information and stimuli.
Once they get out of the door of their apartments, they ‘plug in’ and start looking at the numerous little screens in their lives, absorbing tons of useless information in the process which blocks their thinking space. It’s highly similar to a computer that runs slow because there are too many open programs, cluttering its disk space. These ‘open gates’ in your working brain, drain your energy. So be sure to close these gates, if you don’t want to over activate your brain.
Closing the gates… and unlocking your full potential. Here are some tips and tricks to unlock your full brain potential in this digitalized world:
1. Don’t make emailing your first or last order of business
Checking your inbox first thing in the morning, immediately resets all your priorities and plans for the day your brain has developed during your sleep. Having a quick glance at your inbox right before you go to bed, gives you plain insomnia. Your emails can easily wait until 10 am, or after you’ve at least been able to check off one substantive item on your to do list.
2. Do not comply with meetings or calls that have an unclear agenda or duration
If the desired outcome is defined clearly and there’s an agenda listing the topics (questions to cover), no productive operational meeting or call should last more than 30 minutes. Request them in advance, which enables you of properly preparing them and thus making good use of your time together.
3. Do not check email on a constant basis
According to Prof. Doc. Compernolle, a renowned neuroscientist, it’s best to check your inbox a mere three times a day, set on fixed times. Checking your mails on an ad hoc basis, is the foundation of becoming an ‘emailing addict’, taking up all your valuable time in the process. Making strategic use of the auto responder and switching off email pop ups, can help you a great deal in this.
4.Untangle yourself from the digital web once a week
Try to leave your phone in a place where you can’t easily access it, at least once a week. If this sounds exceptionally daunting to you, you’re probably that type of person that needs it the most. Those who like an even bigger challenge, can try to go ‘off the grid’ for an entire week, once a year. You will feel the difference in both your brain and your body. On top of that, going off the grid can generate a whole bunch of valuable ideas!
5. Stop making small talk at work
If you’re focusing on getting things done, don’t let yourself be distracted by small talk. Don’t get me wrong here, I ‘m not a robot: small talk is a great bonding experience and a welcome way of communicating. Do keep it contained however, to only doing this during lunchtime, or during your coffee or water breaks, your recovery walks, etc. This way, you’ll have way more of that praised energy at the end of the day.