This post was originally published by Amirsan Roberto at Hacker Noon
Three months ago i decided to spend more time thinking that helped me to improve my productivity, handle my projects more strategically and efficiently, somehow doubled my earnings without increasing number of working hours and based on my best learnings, here are following lessons i learned that i hope will be helpful to interested ones.
1. Write down all your ideas and conduct due diligence
When ideas start forming out in our minds, it can be difficult to make much sense out of all the other thoughts that can come alongside that can interfere with creating a clear thinking path. To help that initial idea evolving, writing it down alongside how we think we should approach it can cut down on time wasted trying to remember our exact past thoughts or trying to work it all out just in our minds.
Big things come out of big ideas, and to make sure that we give the latter the best chance for them to grow we need to keep track of them and take our time when it comes to figuring out the best ways to start turning them into realities. Writing them down can also help with motivation and reduces the possibility of self-limiting ourselves due to our own doubts. Some even say that writing ideas on paper rather than typing them out can help you articulate your thoughts even better. In my case using Tony Buzan`s mind mapping has always been useful and productive highly recommended.
2. Spend time for self-reflection/introspection
Everyday we dedicate a lot of time thinking about others, often wondering what they might think about ourselves while also judging their characters ourselves. Taking time to reflect and ponder over how we are and what are our potentials can help us with self-improvement. Only by being honest with ourselves we can figure out our points of weakness and what makes us strong, and time spent working on improving and keeping those points sharp is always well spent.
Alongside that, comes the importance of keeping our minds balanced without forgetting about positivity, the essential ingredient when it comes to motivation. Studies have shown that people function at their best level whenever they are able to achieve 3 positive or optimistic thoughts for every 1 negative thought in their daily emotions, proving that believing in yourself is the first step into achieving your goals. Remaining realistic is important, questioning everything is even more important, but keeping positive mindset helps to move on forward.
3. To make philosophy great again
It`s hard to keep your mind sharp as the years go by, enriching yourself with knowledge and information is important to ensure self-improvement. Reaching that level can’t be done without some extra time spent challenging your thoughts, as nothing helps keep the mind exercising more than that. It helps with making sure that your memory is functioning properly, that your brain can manage stress effectively and that the ideas you work on are working as well as they should.
While thinking it can sometimes happen that we end up surrounded by unhelpful chains of thoughts, capable of ruining our plans as based on one simple thought. Even big companies like Nokia fell into that trap by assuming at the time that their trials of touchscreen phones proved that people would prefer physical keyboards. Proving that to unleash full potential you need to re-think and challenge your initial thoughts.
A brain that never challenges its thoughts is a brain that will always remain stuck in the same point, to go beyond what’s already known, to find the innovation within the small things is to keep challenging your thoughts.
Philosophy is one of the greatest sources that has helped me to keep looking at issues, challenges, problems from different angles, here is the list of those books that are considered to be must read to help you to think different.
4. Applying Stephen Covey of what is important and urgent
Stephen Covey is renown for writing classics such as “The 7 Habits of Highly effective people” and “First Things First”, which are renown to be a go-to for improving time management in your life. Managing a workload can be made more difficult than necessary if we don’t approach it the sensible way, so by following the Covey method we should first list out our priorities to make sure that everything we need to do more urgently gets done in time, pushing back things that maybe at first felt important but can actually be postponed easily.
We only get 24 hours in a day, so better use them wisely by focusing on the most important tasks of our to-do lists instead of rushing to get as much done before we run out of time.
Probably Arnold Schwarzenegger`s life story is another great example of his pick what important and how to act, click here to watch what I mean.
No. 5 Set aside time to think of new ideas.
An excellent idea comes alongside many other terrible ideas, as such you need to dedicate proper time if you want to come up with the one that is going to encourage you to spend time turning it into something more than just a thought. The best ideas take time to come, they don’t always show up out of the blue, more often than not you can come up with better ideas and plans of action if you actually set yourself some time to dedicate to thinking about them rather than just wait.
Probably Albert Einstein`s life story and how he came to the realization of famous E-MC2 and other discoveries has a lot to do setting time to think, here is a documentary that i have watched more than 10 times and never get tired of enjoying it.
6. Make sure to face your toughest problems mentally and design solutions.
During a thinking process, we can see an idea through its initial stage onto what it can aspire to become. We need to give ourselves some time to think of the cons alongside the pros, as identifying the problems we might encounter can save us time spent facing them in real life later on. Already having a plan of action ready in case the predicted problem happens is what can make a huge difference between an idea that works out and one that fails from the beginning. Many are the benefits of this critical thinking process, helping people to arrive at a logical conclusion.
Every time we start a new project we can easily identify the main issues we might have to face, instead of ignoring them and hoping they don’t happen, pre-planning and dedicating time to think of possible solutions is a smart approach that we will thank ourselves for in the future.
7. Meditation and how it helps
Today in business and information world majority seem to be the victim of Monkey-Mind including myself, and one needs a solution to calm down mentally and that`s where meditation kicks in as a salvation in hectic work schedule/lifestyle.
Though i am not a frequent meditator what i noticed personally it helps to increase my patience and has allowed you to see things more clearly and with calm.
According to research, meditation can be associated with structural changes in areas of the brain that are important for sensory, cognitive and emotional processing. With even possible positive impact over the degeneration of the brain.
This post was originally published by Amirsan Roberto at Hacker Noon