"Want To Learn How To Stop Feeling Tired All Day & Get More Work Done
In Less Time Too?"
Stop One Activity: Here's The Science Behind Getting More Energy &
Making Your Life Better All At The Same Time...
By Michael Maven
Do you start your day by checking your messages and emails? Then you should read this...
Most business people think of themselves as good multitaskers.
Now, there is a time and place for multitasking. For example, if you want to listen to music while you drive, then great.
It can even remove all your energy and make you feel tired all the time. Let's explain why...
The last 3 years of your life have probably been the busiest 3 years of your life. And as time goes on, the demands that are placed on you will likely increase more and more. You'll get busier and busier.
How do you usually deal with this? You tend to just work harder and work longer hours. But somewhere this will have to stop.
Well there is only a limited amount of time in a given day. Even worse, after the age of 30, your energy and focus levels will drop. So you'll have less energy and focus to spend on work.
One way we can get more work and results from less time is the active removal of something that really clouds our minds and slows us down - multitasking.
When humans multitask, we're doing more than one task at the same time. But there is something called 'context switching' which makes multitasking very bad for us.
Context switching happens when you're doing a task and then stop doing it. You have to remember what task you were doing and how far along you were. Then when you come back to that task, you have to remember all that information and start off from where you were earlier.
That entire process is a context switch. And it takes up time, each time you do it.
|'The IQ of those who tried to juggle messages and
work, fell by 10 points -- the equivalent to missing a whole
night's sleep and more than double the 4-point fall seen
after smoking marijuana.'
- Dr. Glenn Wilson, Psychiatrist, King's College, London
A context switch is what slows down a computer when you give it multiple tasks. And it also slows humans down too.
Each time you multitask and switch tasks, it's the same as driving down a straight road and pressing the brake every few seconds. It's slows you down, burns you out and is highly inefficient. But if you remove multitasking, you remove all the context switches.
That is like driving down a straight road with no friction at all - nice and smooth.
Context switching is usually happening when you ask yourself 'Ok now, let me see - where was I?'.
Multitasking slows us down, reduces our speed and efficiency, drains our energy and causes more errors because we're not able to pay enough attention.
Multitasking is driven by the need to always know the latest information, mixed with the fact that we always tend to undervalue our own attention.
Sometimes you might be watching a new TV episode whilst filling out an important form. Or you might be distracted by your email or phone messages whist driving etc. In fact, I personally feel that the new wave of mobile/portable devices is actually teaching us to practice having a short attention span.
With most people, the minute they hear they have a new phone message, they stop what they are doing and reach for the phone without even knowing how much it is affecting their long term ability to concentrate. It is a really bad habit.
Multitasking is also down to our current 'snacking' culture.
Nowadays we are so used to watching a short video clip on Youtube or reading a quick message on Twitter. We spend all day plugged into everything with our phones, computers, and tablets.
Everything is at our fingertips and so we find it easy to be distracted, and we multitask so that we can keep up with everything.
|"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is
not an act, but a habit."
The problem is that the more you accidentally 'practise' being distracted, the more you are able to be distracted in future. So it carries on and on.
The 'mixed' mode is when you aren't fully focussed on doing the things that make you the most profit, BUT YET you're not fully turned off and relaxing/renewing energy either. We'll cover just how important it is to renew your energy, in just a minute.
Now, you're usually in the 'mixed' mode when you're multitasking.
Sometimes, it's easy for a business person to start getting results and get too addicted to their work.
If that happens they can lose sight of the things that are
important, like family, hobbies and just time to yourself, away
from business. It's important to have time where you're not
thinking about business.
It's also easy to keep focussing on things that are urgent but not important. This can sometimes take away from things that are important - but not actually urgent.
|Sports players who have multiple 'mini' renewal sessions of 40 seconds during a game, tend to be ranked much higher than those who don't renew at all during a game.|
You can overwork your body for a short period of time. But if you carry on pushing it without any sort of renewal, your body will let you know.
Your body will release the stress hormone cortisol in order to cope - but it's not supposed to be used like that for long periods of time. Pay attention to your body. When you need to renew, you'll notice that you:
All of those are signs that signs that you need quality renewal and recovery.
It's been proven that if you divide your time into uninterrupted focussed chunks, you can get much more done in your day. This works for us as humans because we work in cycles - our heart 'beats', we have brain 'waves', we breathe 'in and out', and our eyes 'blink'. We even sleep in rhythms, following day and night.
Also, for best results, our bodies are not supposed to be used constantly like machines. But we're not supposed to be relaxing all the time either.
As an example, imagine if your leg was in plaster and you weren't able to use your leg muscles. After a few weeks, your leg muscles will waste away.
On the opposite side of the scale, imagine if you constantly overworked your legs at the gym. You will damage your muscles and make them useless.
The ideal way to strengthen your legs is to stress and work the muscles slightly, then let them rest and renew themselves. The muscles grow back and get stronger during the resting process. If you carry on working without rest, you overstress the muscle and this is dangerous.
The secret to maximum personal performance is that we need to work in the same way - in pulses. This helps us to work with focus and then renew.
So to maximise our efficiency, we need to focus our working time in 90 minute 'focussed' chunks.
When you're in the 'on' mode, you are fully focussed and are only working on the single task at hand. It should be a task that brings long term positive results. There are no interruptions allowed, and no distractions either. No phone calls, no instant messages, no emails and no procrastination is allowed.
You also shouldn't start your day by answering emails. This starts your day out on someone else's timetable, instantly leaving you open to multitasking again. It's like the items we own end up owning us...
Instead, you should start your day by working on your first 90 minute focussed chunk of uninterrupted work.
That way, even if you only get one 90 minute chunk done all day, at least you will feel productive with your day and have something to show for it.
When you're in the 'off' mode, you need to be completely disconnected from work and get away from your desk. You need to know exactly how to completely get away from your work for this part. You shouldn't even be thinking about work.
You should be fully unplugged and renewing energy, whilst truly relaxing and rejuvenating. When you come back you should be recharged.
So the most productive way to work is to be in the 'on' mode for
90 minutes. Then follow that with 20-30 minutes of being in the
'off' mode. You just relax, unplug and renew energy during this
If you can run that 'on' and 'off' cycle just 4 times a
day, you will noticed your output go through the roof. You'll
get 6 solid hours of work done each day. If you keep it up
you'll be in the top 1% of your field within just 3 years.
And just like the muscle example earlier, this will be better for you then working for 8 straight hours in a day, and definitely better then 8 straight hours of being in the 'mixed' mode'.
You'll also get more done in less time. You brain will also feel less cloudy and your thoughts will be clearer.
So now you know about the 'on' mode and the 'off' mode. When you're not in either of those you're in a 'mixed' mode that can often push you into a mixed reactive mode.
This is the survival mode. It's like constantly being stuck in the 'fight or flight' zone. The fight zone would make you impatient, angry, irritated etc. The flight mode would make you want to run away, be scared and worried etc.
When you're in the mixed reactive mode, you act differently.
Instead of being thoughtful, you become reactive. The body does not like you to think when you're in this mixed reactive mode, you'll just act instead. So instead of controlling your thoughts, you act automatically.
Your body puts itself into the same mode that it would if there was a physical threat in front of you. For example, if a big vicious bear came in front of you, then you would need to automatically feel fear and run away. That is the zero base response that a caveman would feel, and we still feel it today.
But that mixed reactive mode is only useful for a short period of time.
Your body needs to physically move to burn up the adrenaline inside you and get rid of that feeling quickly (which is why exercise reduces stress). But the chances are you wont actually need to run away from anything in your actual day to day activities, so you wont burn away the adrenaline, and you don't get it out of your system.
|'If you move around your attention as a multitasker -
you get good at fractured focus. Whatever you do gets
stronger. Whatever you don't do, gets weaker.'
- Tony Schwartz
And if you're stuck in that mixed reactive mode for a long period of time, your body stays full of adrenaline, and stress hormones and it drains your energy and burns away at you very quickly.
This will make you feel awful and will also affect the people around you - especially if you are in a higher position than they are. You can't think or relate well, and it's a horrible place to be for a long period of time.
That's the truth and we've seen it happen time and time again.
If you want to know the full details of being a high performance individual that gets results in your life and in business, then look at our 'Lost Profit' Finder: Diagnostic Session. You'll learn how to start your day correctly, and get more work done in less time.
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