If you have ever felt like your own brain is pulling you back, you are not alone. A lot of people feel that way because they find it hard to start something they really want to do. Even when they start, it is hard to stay consistent and finish it despite the overwhelming desire to focus.
Distractions have only gotten more attractive these days, and the human brain seems to like getting distracted, if not, it wouldn’t be so hard to face one thing and finish it at a go.
Everyone has faced this productivity block at some point, even the smartest and most hardworking people. So you don’t have to feel bad or beat yourself up about it. What you should do, is to learn how to hack your own brain and make it do what has to be done.
In order to conquer distractions and outsmart your brain, you don’t need a lot of resources, time, or a medical professional. All you need to hack your brain for the better is already at your disposal, so here are the ways you can outsmart your own brain and make it work with you.
First of all, learn how to manage stress
You may not know this, but the stress you face everyday is affecting your brain in a negative way. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it has stressors, you need to start managing it because anxiety, lack of motivation, depression, and even general laziness could be a result of stress.
When your mind and body are experiencing those symptoms of stress, you will start battling with your brain to focus on what you should do. This will make you procrastinate from time to time, and even when you start the task, you will have to keep pushing yourself to continue because it will feel like punishment.
To stop this problem and become more productive, try certain stress management practices to calm your mind and get yourself excited about your daily activities. Some of ways you can manage stress include:
You don’t necessarily need to go for physical classes. There are many yoga videos on youtube and they can really help you refresh your mind and body.
Hitting the gym
Seeing other people in the gym will give you a sense of community, and as your move those muscles, your brain will get refreshed and this will reflect in your productivity.
Write down your feelings
As mundane as this may sound, it has helped a lot of people de-stress and it can help you too. Write down the things that bother you and burn them to let go.
Rest when you should
Overworking yourself is a major cause of stress, so learn to take time off and get actual rest during your break time and refresh your brain.
Solve your personal problems
For many people, their lack of productivity at work is a result of instability in their personal life. The brain wants your pains cured, so if you are constantly fighting your brain to focus on work, there is a pain you have not addressed.
Take a break from that book you can’t read even though you keep staring at a page, then address an issue that is bothering you. Then go back to the book and see how well your brain will assimilate what you will read.
If you are not on speaking terms with a loved one, it qualifies as pain here and can make your brain work against you. In this case, you can send a text if you can’t call the person. This will leave you feeling better with yourself and you will be able to work.
No matter the task you are trying to do or the cause of the pain you are facing, as long as you can start fixing the issue, you will outsmart your brain!
Talk about your ideas to people that will criticize it
Normally, harsh criticisms would make you feel bad or discouraged, but you can use it to outsmart your brain and even get better than you ever were.
The human brain sees what it wants to see — what it believes should be seen, this is why a group of people can hear the same speech at the same time, but understand it in different ways.
This means that your mind is already focused on a particular way of seeing a topic, or in this case, the way a task should be executed, irrespective of what is appropriate or not.
You can take advantage of this bias that each person’s brain has, and use it to get smarter and more productive. To achieve this, tell someone else, preferably someone you already know will have a different view, about your plans for something you struggle with.
Their completely different view will open your eyes to newer methods that you would not have seen on your own.
Do not overthink things
Overthinking comes unconsciously when people face difficulties or any kind of block, but there are people who specifically choose to think things through over and over again in a bid to find a way out of a problem — this is wrong.
It only burdens the brain and adds to the stress you are already feeling. And as if that is not enough, the lack of positive results after spending so much energy on thinking can make you feel frustrated, which makes your own brain work against you.
When you find yourself frustrated or overthinking, take a break and do something completely different. It doesn’t have to be a different kind of work, because using that break to eat, watch movies, chat with loved ones, and rest in any kind of way, is also helpful to your brain.
The key here is to remove that particularly troubling task from your mind, and you are free to use any healthy method to do it, so that when you return to the job, your brain would be quiet and more effective.