Work With Your Brain: Tap Your Brain’s Peak Potential for Greater Personal Performance at Work

“Know thyself.” Know your brain.

Morning Sun

 

When I was writing The Smarter Home Office: 8 simple steps to increase your income, inspiration and comfort, I noticed that if I wrote first thing in the morning I could keep focused and productive for three-four hours. If I scheduled my writing for later in the morning or afternoon I could do two hours, tops. Similarly if I work on Quicken for an hour at the beginning of my work day, I get more done than an hour in the afternoon. Have you observed similar peak performance time for yourself?

Why do you work better at some times than others? The reason is biological.

David Rock, author of Your Brain at Work, states that your brain is not a limitless resource. Rock uses neuroscience to discover the times and conditions when your brain is at its best. You can be more effective and productive if you arrange your workday and tasks to be in sync with your brain.

Your brain is at its best at the start of your workday. Your brain is fresh – from a good night’s sleep. Your brain is fed – assuming you had a healthy breakfast. Your brain needs glucose (which your body processes from food to nourish your brain and nervous system) not caffeine to function.

Work with your brain. If your brain is at peak performance first thing in the morning, then why waste that brain power on emails and routine tasks. Schedule your most challenging tasks for early in the day when your brain can best function. Prioritizing and decision making are the most cognitively taxing to the brain and its pre-frontal cortex. The pre-frontal cortex is where your “executive” functions or judgments occur.  Prioritizing is an especially challenging form of decision making. Prioritize your day or week first. Tackle your most challenging project. Later when your brain is past its peak, check your emails or do your routine tasks.

Note: If you are doing extended focused analysis or learning something new, you will need snacks to keep your brain fueled and functioning. That headache on a demanding day could be your brain telling you it’s hungry for food. You can keep a stash of nuts or trail mix in your desk drawer or briefcase to keep you and your brain going.

Doing your most challenging tasks when you and your brain are fresh is not just work smart, it is brain smart.

The Smarter Home Office gives you some simple steps on how to pace your day to be efficient and creative. This leaves you with the time and energy for your personal life.

Photo by Blacklord

Comments

  1. Betty Bullock says:

    Love your blog and the thoughtful ideas you present.

  2. Betty – Thanks so much for your kind comment. I simply hope to help others with new ideas and insights that come my way.
    Let me know if there is something you would like me to address in a blog post.
    Linda