Cognitive Clarity - And How to Play The Game. "Full On"
What is Cognative Clarity.
Or what I like to call "The Game"
Based on the way our culture is now, and the speed at which we are receiving Input, it's a wonder to me how anyone can stay focused on tasks at hand or pay attention to their landscapes-Past, Present or Future without being sidetracked by the amount of "Shiny Balls" flashing at us from all directions.
The secret to anything but especially in the online world is the ability to Stay Focused on the Prize DAILY and move forward.
Have put together some tools, rules, and snippets of insiteful information and behaviors to help with that one thing that is everything FOCUS... Enjoy!
Cognition is "The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses" whereas
Clarity "Refers to how keen the intellect itself is".
Stuff That Clogs The Wheel
Congnative science suggest that after you place or get 4 inputs into the mind that you are trying to negotiate, juggle or mange the relationship between them creates stress factors whose source cannot be pinpointed, this leaving you with emotions of overwhelm and defeat. .......(Yep Only 4)
Resulting in whatever is yelling loudest-longest and leaving you with overall negative feelings about the whole process.
This is what is called "standing on the sidelines of the game"
"It's hard to fight an enemy who has outpost in your head"
The Conscious Mind...
Your conscious mind should not be the In-basket, it is not a system in terms of remembering or reminding.
Think of the mind as a computer screen and a focusing tool NOT storage space.
What you mind really excels at is, getting Ideas, being creative, thinking, and engaging with you landscape, not storing data.
When you say to yourself "OH YA I SHOULD......." And you do not capture that on some system that is NOT your head..
The mind keeps reminding you of those things continuously also generally when nothing can be done about them, and this is usually at 3 AM.
It has NO sense of past or future and thinks that it should be doing that something ALL THE TIME.
Now we are all busy right?
But just think about this..
Johann Sebastian Bach a German Composer and Musician of the Baroque Period fathered 20 kids with his 2 wive's.....can you imagine?
BTW.. If you're a musician or a writer the nature of the work is that you could always be doing more so we could call this an "Open-Ended Profession"
And being in a Open-Ended Profession where their are no borders you can just keep working endlessly but still needing to manage the rest of life....
- New Inputs
So... How to engage in all aspects of "the game" and still stayed focused so to move our lives and business forward effectively and efficiently?
First Off Do Not WORRY...
"Worry does not change today, it only just robs you of the Ability to Play"
Worry is an unproductive preoccupation with all the things we have Identified as things we HAVE to do, it is the single largest consumer of Time, Creativity energy and Movement.
Source Of Negative Feelings.
Where do those Not so good feelings come from?
Too much to do? ..
NO There is always too much to do.
Those Negative Feelings come from "broken agreements that we make to ourselves" and these are no different from the ones you make with others, actually worse for these type of self agreements damage you SELF TRUST.
Knowing Your Priorities.
- What are you doing with time?
- What are you doing with you're ongoing streams of information?
- Are you able to feel good about what you're doing or more important what you are NOT doing?
- What are you doing with you Focus relative to you Priorities
- Are you say NO?... By saying NO to other areas in life you are reallly saying YES to what you have ID as Priorities.
Lack of time is not the major issuer it is Lack of Clarity.
Your Answers to the Priorities (above) are the real options to which you must allocate limited resources.
"Focus in today's landscapes is in limited quality".
Solution- Creation Of An "External Mind".
Create a solid system that becomes a GOTO and a storage of all the inputs you get in life
The priority here is to keep them in a system that is EXTERNAL..For this to work it needs to be populated with EVERYTHING...
The external system should always remain
- COMPLETE &
Now understand this is not you running away from you personal responsibility this is giving yourself permission to place focus and attention to the RIGHT NOW and knowing that everything is accounted for.
More importantly it frees up you're creative intellect
It's a condition of working, doing and being in which the mind is clear and constructive,
Truly a more required condition for people who want to maintain balance in There lives consistent output in work.
It makes no difference if it is cleaning windows, writing content or raising 20 kids.
Tools & Rules.
Tools of the Game
A "CAPTURE IT ALL" tool
This can be an App you have on you phone so to take in all the new inputs that show up or as simple as a note book...
What to Capture
- All of you' "To Do's"
- All of you "Will need to do's"
- Basically Everything Big or Small ,if It shows up in you Capture it.
- NOTHING IS OFF LIMITS!!
A centralized In-Basket-
can be both Digital and or Physical but ensure you have a "1 stop shop" for all the inputs from life.
A Calendar-This is a HARD landscape of things that have to get done on specific days, times or in the coming future so to remind you of things that are incubating (IE A friend coming back from a Vacation)
A File system - holds any Important Information that is needed Present or Future, this can be both Physical and or Digital.
File folders for Email Inbox -Create files folders into contexts on you email provider so to file emails into folders. . For example anything from WA could go into an "Online business Email folder"
A Trash Can -Digital and Physical. This is my most favorite tool. (A really good idea Before you start to file away Email just get into the habit of deleting everything not needed and getting the email box to 0)
A List making Tool or App The secret here is to find something you love to use so that it will be enjoyable to use.
All About The Lists.
"List Not only provide great structure but they also help us to set goals and achieve our dreams " Richard Branson
List Writing and having a List Writing Tools
Make List for everything and just like Email folders break them into Separate Contexts
- People to call,
- Next actions
- Blog ideas
Richard Branson Tips on list Making..
- Write down every single idea no matter how big or small get it ALL out of you head into an EXTERNAL System that is TRUSTED
- Always carry a notebook so to capture Ideas, thoughts and or new inputs
- Find a list method that works. Tip find something that you would LOVE to use, IE an APP or a really nice list software, even a pen and notebook
- Make a list of small manageable task to complete every day (call it a "Win List"
- Mark off every completed task -the actual act of marking each task "Completed" leaves you with a very satisfying feeling of movement and creates progress.
A 2-minute rule
If you can finish a task in 2 min or less DO IT right their and then. It helps to clear the decks of your "Playing Field".
"The less residual stuff you have to deal with the better"
The weekly review rule Once a week sit for a few hours so to review all the landscape..
Everything on you Calendar, Lists, Active File folders etc so to ensure nothing creeps back into you brain so to create that unresolved feeling of tension.
Like the rule suggest it needs to be done WEEKLY.
This will be a list of things that sometimes can get batch together so to get them done all together at the same time, capture them it makes you actions more efficient
Annual Clean ups
This is going through all of you External System and Cleaning house...... literally
- Laptop folders
- Engage and Purge
Agreements With Yourself..
Review all the commitments to you landscape and intentionally deciding to NOT DO SOMETHING but knowing it's there, gets you a feeling of control as opposed to NOT engaging in that task or ignoring it...
"You can fool everyone but yourself " Your mind will keep coming up with ways to ensure you do not sleep so well. A decision to engage and agree on something that YOU say can wait, does not have the guilt associated to it.
More Cognative Clarity Behaviors Tips...
Quality is important. Based on the National Sleep Foundation they recommend 7-9 hours for Performance and overall Health, so to get Clarity get the rest.
I find that if I am working on something and I go to sleep with it as a focus the subconscious mind will asset in Ideas that would not have been thought of in you're waking hours.
Try light aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming or casual cycling to increase the circulation of oxygen and blood flow.
Exercise helps the body work better, and that includes the brain. If you’re feeling mentally stuck a walk outside will often help free the mind to work in a different direction.
Keeping the body working well is essential to mental clarity. If you’re feeling physically good, you mind is free to work. Consume well-balanced, low-sugar and portion-controlled meals or try.. ..Intermittent fasting
Definition by Wikipedia
Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term for various diets that cycle between a period of fasting and non-fasting over a defined period.
The most common one is a 16/8 Fast in which you Fast for 16 hours and Eat for 8.
Studies have shown that this process of fasting is good for the professional who has a mentally taxing work scope. It dramatically improves the Cognative Clarity and you're response to work stress in a much more positive way.
Meditation allows you to clear the mind of all the thoughts running through it and focus much more easily.
Once you know how, you can do it for short periods at home or in another quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.
There are many books and online resources available. There are also meditation classes and meetings in many communities.
Time of day for mental clarity.
We all have different body clocks, and each of us works better at a different time of day.
Many people find that early morning is the time when There mind is most clear -- for others, it’s late at night, just before bed.
Whatever time you naturally gravitate toward, schedule tasks for that time that require the most clarity.
Conditions that help clear the mind.
For some people, working in total silence in a familiar place affords them the most clarity.
Others like the background hum of a coffee shop.
The location that helps you focus the most will be the place where you can do you best work -- find it!
Promise yourself that you’ll only check email or social media twice or three times a day.
Set a time to give yourself a break, and keep it.
When you are engaged in work and have lost track of time or have come across bottlenecks in the process go and take a break from it all
Sometimes the best overall ideas are the ones that happen when you are not working.
If you know you need to do something that requires a great deal of thought, create a routine that helps to get focus and free of outside thoughts.
Continuing to do the routine anytime the need for mental clarity it will help train the mind to achieve that state more easily over time.
- Make yourself a cup of coffee or tea before you begin and think about the task ahead
- Take a shower before you begin.
- Put on comfortable clothing that helps you relax and focus.
- Listen to a favorite song or watch an inspiring video.
How To Know Your Head Is Clear..
When you can focus on being creative, insightful, focused and not weighed down with undone projects, situations or incomplete's
When you have engaged in all of you Landscape and have the habit of capturing the new inputs as they come into you life and world, so to address them later.
If the systems for capturing all of you ongoings in you life is solid, the day should be a constant flow of creative energy and intuitive choices.
The goal is to get projects and situations OFF the mind but to not lose any useful potential information..
Most people have at least 6 things they are trying to achieve "right now" and even if they had the rest of you're lives to try and complete these progjects to perfection they would not.
It's not about perfection it is about the Value of Clear Space whether that's on you're desk in you're email box or you're head.
There is NO real way to achieve the kind of relaxed control by keeping things ONLY in our head. Create structures/Systems so to support Creativity and Freedom
But Ensure its TRUSTED.
Win The Game..
It's all a game after all
Just set it up so that you can ensure a WIN for You.
Let me know you thoughts and comments and if you have anything to add based on you're Landscape for Productivity
Thanks for the moment