Mind Tricks For Better Productivity – How To Fool Our Mind To Boost Productivity


[This is 9th chapter in the #ProductivityHacks series currently running on Trak.in]

Our mind is a very strange customer. We promise ourselves that gym would be regular from now on, but we make excuses and avoid going. We make up our mind not to screw that important job interview but do everything possible to screw it. We believe one thing and do entirely opposite. In some instance, it seems that mind is not under our control!

It has been researched that when chocolate is served in orange colored cups, it tastes better. When we serve food in a smaller plate, then less food is consumed. Stress of unprecedented levels can be minimized by just a simple smile. (sources: http://www.popsci.com and http://online.wsj.com)

Is there any justification to these research results? Why does our mind respond this way, when there are no possible logical reasons to do this?

Productivity Hacks Entrepreneurs-007

Forcing our minds to be more productive and result-oriented can be really tough. Just determination and firm resolve to become productive seldom works. That is why in the last few chapters, we have discussed ways to collect information, create a process and formulate lists. If seen from a 50,000 feet view, we will observe that these are just another form of mind tricks, which we play on our minds to get a task done.

In this series of mind tricks, we shall discuss 6 ways to fool our minds, so that we achieve even better productivity and results. I have divided this series in two parts. In this part, we shall discuss two ways to fool our mind and boost productivity:

A) Structured Procrastination

Procrastination is delaying an action or task due to anxiety; fear or simply indecision which results in loss in productivity. Procrastination is the most evil enemy of an entrepreneur, as delaying or postponing important tasks can result in direct business loss. In future chapters, we will discuss ways to fight procrastination and become super-productive.

But in this mind trick, we shall use procrastination to become more productive.

But how?

It’s really very simple. Delay the most important task which you are supposed to complete right now, and instead do some less important task. This action of yours will make the most important task as less painful and less frightening, and enable greater productivity.

In other words, we are fooling our mind by doing the less fearful tasks first to ‘create an illusion’ that the most important tasks is not that tough.

In one of the previous chapters, we had shared that creating and optimizing lists are the holy grail of productivity. But sometimes, this list thing doesn’t work smoothly. Although we have created the lists, we continue to procrastinate and delay the action due to resistance and a mental block regarding the importance of the most important task.

If this is not the case with you, then its fine to start with the most important tasks and go on performing as per the order of priority. But incase you happen to procrastinate and delay the tasks after creating a list, then this mind trick is perfect for you. You can fool your mind easily, and if it’s productive, then why not!

By opening the to-do list, and start working on less important tasks, we are signaling our mind that the most important task is less dangerous, and subsequently, we will complete that as well.

You are encouraged to read this resource for more insights into this productivity hack: http://structuredprocrastination.com/

B) Take your work to a coffee shop

In an experiment involving 300 students, scientists asked them to work in an environment where street noise was continuously played over; the intensity of which ranging from soft to mild to loud. The tasks which were assigned to these students consisted of pure brain work, involving creativity and mathematics: the typical tasks which any entrepreneur is supposed to accomplish for his enterprise.

For example, they brainstormed on how to improve a mattress company’s profits and business, about improving sales of a computer store and so on.

The exercises deliberately demanded considerable amount of mental flexibility, word association, issues pertaining to economics and creativity. And the results were surprising.

When the participants worked under mild to loud noise environment, their performance peaked!

This suggests that human brains, when forced to work in a noisy environment, becomes more creative and powered with awesome ideas.

While working under such circumstances, our mind is aware that the work is being done in the public, and the same public or “sea of humanity” will review the work as well. Some pre-historic part of the brain alerts us, and makes us more creative. The sounds of the public chatter and the words which our sub-conscious mind picks up during this interval inject new ideas and new thoughts, which may not hit us while working alone in the office.

In a way, we are fooling our mind and manipulating it’s functionality to make us more productive and more creative. Next time you are feeling like procrastinating and delaying any task, just pick your laptop or notebook and move out to the neighborhood coffee shop, and just start working.

[Source: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/665048]

In the second part of the mind trick series, we will discuss 4 ways we can relax our mind for greater productivity.

Previous Chapters in “#ProductivityHacks For An Entrepreneur” Series

  1. Understanding Importance of Time
  2. The Morning Activities
  3. The Four Step Plan
  4. Creating; Managing & Optimizing Lists
  5. Mastering Art of Collecting Information
  6. The Science of Creating a Process Out of Chaos
  7. How To Complete A Project Successfully
  8. The 6 Stage Model of Reviewing Your Productivity

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