We have all faced a situation where we sit down with the intention of completing a task but we end up doing nothing. Sometime later we are simply where we started without haven’t achieved anything because of it. What’s the most common reason behind this?
Procrastination won the mental battle.
Procrastination is experienced by thousands of people on a daily basis - so how come it’s so difficult to get the job done even though we realize the potential consequences of our actions (or more appropriately, non-action)? Independently of the reasons behind our choices, there is always a way to fight against it.
Let's see the different brain hacks you can follow to boost your motivation levels and become more productive.
8 Brain Hacks To Improve Your Productivity And Mental Output
1. Find a way to deal with mental blocks
Mental blocks are quite common during a given day and can appear at any ‘unforeseen’ time. We tend to start all pumped up, make good progress and then simply hit a mental wall that can’t get through. The result? Our motivation levels go down and we have a low number of ideas on how to proceed.
Instead of being angry at yourself for not having the answer try taking a different approach. Do something that relaxes you, and let your brain passively find the solution while you enjoy life. Allowing yourself to sit back and chill for a moment will improve your concentration later on which will consequently result to the answers you are looking for.
“Don’t let mental blocks control you. Set yourself free. Confront your fear and turn the mental blocks into building blocks” – Dr. Roopleen
2. Think about the bigger picture
If you feel like you are about to postpone tasks for a later date, try focusing your thoughts on the bigger purpose. Focus your energy on the reasons you started out this journey and the long-term benefits you will get out of it once completed. Put it simply, the more you do now, the more you will get in the future.
Not only you will remain productive and motivated but you will also get a deeper meaning and impacts of the goal you’re trying to achieve.
“Whatever you’re thinking, think bigger” – Tony Hsieh
3. Follow a healthy diet
Healthy nutrition can do wonders to your motivation and productivity levels. A number of different studies have shown that certain foods contain catecholamines, brain chemicals which are associated with motivation boost. Such foods include fruits, vegetables, chicken, turkey, egg whites, seaweed and cottage cheese.
Adopting a healthy diet is guaranteed to increase your mental focus, eliminate brain fog and improve your motivation levels.
“Preach not to other what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent” – Epictetus
4. Stay away from negative thinking
We sometimes tend to think of how difficult a task may be before even starting working on it. We tend to adopt a ‘negative’ attitude - that we may do it wrong or even never complete it.
Well, nothing good ever comes out from such a mindset. The reason is that our past bad experiences will only diminish our inspiration levels which will consequently become a critical barrier to our success.
Looking at the bright side though, there are ways you can train your mind to think in a positive manner. For example, consider of difficult tasks you completed successfully in the past and felt the most proud of. By doing so, you will forcefully make a positive impact to your reaction towards a specific (difficult) situation.
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results” – Willie Nelson
5. Avoid overthinking
One of the various reasons someone can block their productivity is by overthinking, thus creating pressure on themselves. There are situations where we start thinking about potential complications or barriers that may surface in the future without a specific reasoning behind it – only to realise that we have increased our stress and anxiety levels.
This creates the possibility of making overthinking a habit. If so, we may become unable to effectively motivate ourselves and focus because our mind is thinking about potential problems that may not even appear.
Try keeping your objectives small and simple (without forgetting about the end purpose). This tactic means breaking bigger goals into smaller and easier to manage ones, so you can proceed ahead without too much worrying.
“We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap.” – Antony Hopkins
6. Believe in yourself
The simple tip of believing in yourself will prove to be a great asset to your life’s success as also supported by relevant research . For example, self-belief has been shown to increase dopamine levels (the brain chemical associated with motivation, productivity and joy) due to the fact that self-appreciation is a great motivational factor.
By simply believing you will eventually achieve your goals, your mind and body will follow that mentality through action.
Think of yourself as someone who can overcome challenges. Someone who achieves their goals no matter what.
“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” – Christian D. Larson
7. Think about how you can help others
There are people (I pride myself on this) tend to gain motivation when they understand the indirect impact of their work towards others’ lives - no matter how small it may be. Knowing that what you do may make other people happy, enjoy their lives or even avoid a difficult situation that you already have the solution to, can prove to be a great productivity booster.
If you want to see it for yourself, simply contact or meet these people in person and get to know how you made a difference in their lives. The evidence of your hard work and continuous efforts may improve your core motivation skills.
“Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours” – Les Brown
8. Recognize and appreciate past achievements
Don’t be afraid to think of the past. Think back, reflect and make a mental note of all the positive or difficult things you have achieved up until now.
If praise is something that boosts your motivation, this powerful technique will work great for you. Just recognise some of the most complex projects you’ve taken on and appreciate how effectively you completed them.
You have every reason to feel great about something you have achieved – let that be the mental push you need for future successes!
“In order to plan your future wisely, it is necessary that you understand appreciate your past. – Jo Coudert
Take Away Message
To recap, these are the 8 brain hacks to improve your productivity and mental powers:
- Find a way to deal with mental blocks
- Think about the bigger picture
- Follow a healthy diet
- Stay away from negative thinking
- Avoid overthinking
- Believe in yourself
- Think about how you can help others
- Recognize and appreciate past achievements