And register for one-day workshop READY TO LEAD: 5 Strategies to Accelerate Your Career
The idea of “powering through” and relentlessly dogging a task to completion used to sound admirable. But the latest brain research shows it’s more effective to give your brain and body a rest and come back to the task with a fresh perspective and renewed energy.
Walking away from a mental task can decrease decision fatigue, increase creativity and provide a new perspective on a vexing task by giving the goal-oriented pre-frontal cortex a chance to rest. Effective brain breaks can be as simple as a short walk, interaction with nature, a healthy snack, deep breathing or meditation.
“I schedule ‘joy breaks’ into my day where I block out ten minutes to do something that will inspire me,” says Katrina McGhee, author, career success strategist and co-leader of WFF’s 2018 Leadership Development Workshops, READY TO LEAD: 5 Strategies to Accelerate Your Career. Consider what McGhee calls her Six Wacky Ideas for a More Productive Day:
Set the tone: Start your day with intention rather than reaction by avoiding your phone for (gasp) the first 60 minutes of the day. “We often reach for the phone first thing on autopilot,” McGhee says. “That approach can result in the day running you rather than you running your day. That first hour is a critical time to set your intentions and be mindful about how you invest your valuable time.”
Decide on your MUST DO list and DO THAT FIRST: Even if you start your day with intention, it can be easy to create a laundry list of everything you could possibly want to accomplish. Thing is, a list of 15 to-do items will simply lead to frustration, a sense of overwhelm and scattered thinking. Focus on your top four or five MUST-DOs and get more done.
Schedule JOY breaks to refresh and renew: “For me, this can mean a delicious peppermint mocha or engaging with a favorite colleague about their recent vacation,” McGhee says. Take a break to inspire yourself.
Think more. Do less. Too often, our desire to act comes before the time to think. Discipline yourself to spend more time really pondering a challenge and you are likely to develop far more productive solutions.
Practice PRESENCE to minimize meetings. How often do you sit in a meeting where half the people are checking their phones and almost no one is fully present? “If everyone will leave their phones on their desks and be fully present during meetings, you can get more done in 30 minutes than 60,” McGhee says.
Celebrate progress to propel you to success. “I’m not a scrooge, but I want to celebrate birthdays at home and progress at work,” McGhee explains. “What is typically far more meaningful to people in the workplace is to celebrate together what we accomplished that day. Many projects are long-term. Celebrating the milestones along the way fuels us for the journey.”
You can connect with McGhee in person, along with fellow workshop speaker Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., psychologist and best-selling author, when you register for WFF’s Leadership Development Workshops, READY TO LEAD: 5 Strategies to Accelerate Your Career. REGISTER now to take WFF’s unique Leadership Competency Assessment at no additional cost!