James W.D. Stewart

James W.D. Stewart

Embrace "The Suck"


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I know you want to have more extended periods of focus throughout your day.  We all do.  Deep work's where the magic happens.

Finding that time can be difficult.  Light interactions bog us down.  Answering e-mails, addressing questions from employees in the hallway, phone calls, etc. — it all adds up.

Sometimes we just need more energy.  Many of us get caught in a cycle of destruction.  I've been there before.  When I first became an entrepreneur, I was miserable.

/blog/2017/04/26/7-things-destroying-your-mental-enegery/

https://forces.army/blog/2017/04/26/7-things-destroying-your-mental-enegery/

7 Things Destroying Your Mental Energy

Count Words — Reading Time
by James Stewart
Published: 
Updated:  N/A
Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada
 

 

I know you want to have more extended periods of focus throughout your day.  We all do.  Deep work's where the magic happens.

Finding that time can be difficult.  Light interactions bog us down.  Answering e-mails, addressing questions from employees in the hallway, phone calls, etc. — it all adds up.

Sometimes we just need more energy.  Many of us get caught in a cycle of destruction.  I've been there before.  When I first became an entrepreneur, I was miserable.

Here are 7 things that were killing my mental energy — and, some simple solutions that I've found — to help ensure that they don't slow me down:

  1. Poor sleep.
    • We all know that we need more sleep.  The first time that I'd been able to finally get a handle on my sleep patterns happened when I installed a sleep-cycle app on my mobile device.
       
      The app doesn't help me to sleep.  But, it provides me with the base-line data that I need to track how deep my sleep is.  I was forced to confront the reality that going to bed past 2300, and waking up at 0500, was killing me.  At times, you need a slap in the face.
       
      Install such an app, get better sleep, and start to feel better…  You're welcome.
  2. Anger.
    • Alright, this is a touchy one.  I've thought deeply about anger before.  Because, well, I tend to get angry at times.  I'd imagine that you do as well.
       
      I've found that harnessing some anger, and channeling it in a productive manner, helps to propel me to new heights.  But, if anger's an issue for you, meditation may help.
       
      A study shows that brief meditation — just 20 minutes — can reduce your anger.  I've been meditating for goin on 10 years now.  You don't need apps and/or books to help you focus on your breath.  But, if you find it difficult though, you may want to consider installing an app such as Headspace.  The meditations are simple and effective.
  3. Perfectionism.
    • Another tough one.  I've been a perfectionist for the better part of my life.  I'd imagine, that if you're reading this, you may be one yourself.  We're self-improvement beasts.  Always seeking to become bigger, faster, and/or stronger.
       
      Here's a fast hack to break-free from your perfectionism…  Become a parent and/or start a company.  I'm, absolutely, serious.
       
      If you're a parent, you more than likely chuckled a bit here, but it's true though.  You can't be an effective and high-functioning parent if you're a perfectionist.  At some point, you have to throw your hands in the air, and let go.
       
      So, let it go — allow yourself some room to break some eggs.  The psychic energy that you'll free-up will make up for any anxiety that you have around your perfectionism.
       
      Taking a perfectionist attitude will only lead to depression and anxiety.  Plus, here's the reality — you can, never, have perfection.
  4. The wrong crowd.
    • Your mom was right — you shouldn't get involved with the wrong crowd.  High-energy overachievers surround themselves with the same energy — so do negative people.
       
      Be careful who you spend your time with, and harness the positive energy, from the good people around you.
  5. Negative stacking.
    • We all have to "eat the frog" and get things accomplished that we hate doing.  I've found a powerful technique that helps me plow through my negative duties.
       
      Some will tell you to tackle your hardest projects first-thing in the morning when you're fresh.  I agree with this, given one minor caveat…  After you do that one hard thing, do something that you enjoy.
       
      Alternating, these minor tasks, will keep you from stringing negative experiences together.
  6. Too much alcohol.
    • We all know that a glass a wine now-and-then can be good for your heart.  I'm not going to encourage you stop drinking.  We all want to grab a beer with our former college roommates.  That's healthy.  Consistent, week-day drinking though, just doesn't work.
       
      Excessive alcohol consumption negatively effects your sleep.  A bad night's sleep will decrease your performance the next day.
       
      Allow yourself to have a glass of wine and/or a beer now-and-then.  Work out, mediate, and eat-well to alleviate the need to binge-drink and release stress and tension.
  7. Foods high in sugar.
    • We know that foods high in sugar are bad for us — and, our mental acuity.  So, why do we still put them into our bodies?  Sugar's addictive — could be one answer.  But, another answer, seems to be the reason — sugar work!
       
      When we put sugar into our bodies, we get a shot in the arm.  For about 20 minutes, we feel fantastic and on top of the world.  We don't think about the long-term effects.
       
      You could eat sugary foods all day, but you'd end up packing on fat — pushing your body into a depression.

I'm a bit obsessed with creating the optimal biologically successful day.  I hope that gaining some form of control over these 7 mental pitfalls will help to bring optimal performance into your life.

 
Categories:  Health, Lifestyle  
Tags:  The Suck

 
Syndicated to:

 
References:

  1. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
    by Brian Tracy Published: 
    Referenced: 
  2. New Study Shows Brief Meditation Can Reduce Anger
    by Marlynn Wei Published: 
    Referenced: 

 

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Creative Commons Licence :: BY-NC-SA James W.D. Stewart by James Stewart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  Based on a work at https://github.com/jwds1978/jwds1978.github.io.