Imagine that you’re working late at night on a project due in the morning. Your body is tired and your mind is numb, but this project must get done, so you push on. You continue to work, despite the distinct feeling that the project would be much easier if you went to bed and approached it again in the morning. You feel obligated to do it now, so you stay up until the wee hours of the morning, producing less than desirable work in much more time than it would have taken with a rested mind. This was likely not the wisest move, since not only productivity was lost, but quality as well.
Having a rested mind really can make a difference in our daily productivity, whether it’s work or housework we are trying to accomplish. Our minds were not meant to work for hours on end with no downtime. They need breaks and vacations. They need the ability to recharge from the daily overload of sensory and thought perceptions. Constantly running our minds on overtime without frequent periods of restoration can be detrimental to our work, our attitude, and even our physical health.
Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent your mind from working on overload. Follow these helpful tips and ideas for increasing your daily productivity:
Get more sleep – Adequate sleep is crucial to allowing our subconscious minds to let go of all the stress of the day. During sleep our minds recharge themselves, generating the stamina and renewed perception needed for a fresh new day. If we fail to get adequate sleep, our minds will be sluggish and slow, essentially shutting down from the overload of stimuli. This creates conditions in which we cannot effectively think, speak, or act to our fullest potential.
Without the level of awareness and alertness that a rested mind provides, our pace slows down and productivity is lost. When our minds are overworked we often fall into “space cadet” mode, and we have trouble focusing on the tasks at hand. Thoughts frequently wander, and the ability to concentrate is lost. Most people know how much sleep they require to feel refreshed, but we rarely allow ourselves such a luxury. Try viewing adequate sleep as an investment into your overall well-being, and reap the rewards the next morning.
Reduce stress – Excessive stress can be very debilitating. It makes us feel overwhelmed and distracts us from getting our work done, and even worse – it promotes the formation of negative thoughts. Stress can hinder our productivity by making us more scattered and unfocused. We are unable to concentrate on one thing at a time because the cause of the stress is always in the back our minds, demanding attention.
Reducing the stressors in our lives will go a long way in allowing us to lead more productive and happy lives. Try to remember that some things are just not worth worrying about, and there is no sense in stressing over things we have no control over. Since much of our stress is the result of worrying about things beyond our control, allowing ourselves to let go of these thoughts can greatly reduce the stress in our lives.
Quiet the mind – Meditation is a great way to quiet our minds and develop clear thought processes. Try this exercise at least once a day: Find a quiet room with no interruptions, sit in a comfortable position, and close your eyes. Allow all thoughts to leave your mind, and try to focus on the silence within you. As thoughts begin to float through your mind, simply push them gently but firmly back out. This technique takes practice to perfect, but sticking with it will help you to develop intense focus that can be harnessed in other ways as well.
Meditating on a regular basis will ultimately improve our productivity because we will develop the ability to focus clearly on each task, and ultimately get more done in less time.
These are just a few of the easy ways we can contribute to a rested mind, which will help us to release stress, improve our focus, and increase our productivity.