With how easy it is get distracted by the Internet these days, even Microsoft have said humans’ attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8, a second lower than a goldfish. That’s right, we’ve been outclassed by fish. Inevitably a lower attention span leads to lower productivity and thus a lower rate of success. In light of this, here are seven scientifically-proven habits to help you put that goldfish in its place.
WRITE A DAILY TO-DO LIST… AND DO IT
This one may seem obvious but writing a list is a piece of cake. Make sure you set achievable goals for your day, keep it concise and aligned with your personal priorities. The hard part comes to actually ticking each box, but if you ensure the entries are easily achievable you’ll breeze through. The act of completing a task, regardless of size, releases dopamine – a neurotransmitter that our brain produces to motivate us. Increasing dopamine production increases real-world production and helps you put your best foot forward.
2. READ AN INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE
Some words of wisdom from those who have made it big can often supercharge a day. The first ten minutes of a workday is the best time to find something that resonates, as it will set you up for a productive day. A good way to do this can be to find a dozen or so images of inspirational and motivational quotes and set them as your computer background. Modern operating systems support rotating wallpapers, so every time you flick to your desktop a different quote will greet you.
3. EAT WELL
Eating lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains is an oft-repeated sentiment but for good reason. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains provide countless nutrients for the brain to function optimally. A lot of natural food also contains tyrosine, a building block for dopamine. It’s tempting to splay out over the couch all night before bed but take ten minutes and pack a good lunch for the next day. Here’s a few foods to get you started:
- Green Tea
4. SLEEP WELL
Having a consistent sleep pattern and waking up earlier have proven to be beneficial to people striving for success, although it is not the easiest to master. Some quick tips are to set an alarm for going to bed as well as waking up, avoiding that snooze button and eliminating screens at least one hour before sleeping. Your circadian rhythm is easily affected and when that rhythm is out you feel tired, irritable and it affects your physical health as well as mental.
Yet another point that has been preached for the last hundred years. But those successful folk who have all the resources to keep themselves fit, healthy and attractive still incorporate exercise into their daily routine for the simple fact that you can’t buy Botox for your brain. It needs a body that runs like a well-oiled machine in order for it to work at peak productivity. Exercising has also shown to have positive effects on creativity as well as increasing intelligence.
Studies have shown that meditating affects dopamine levels in the affirmative. If sitting straight-backed, cross-legged with pinched fingers doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, take five minutes and just focus on your breathing. This allows your brain to slow down and you can sort your thoughts calmly. It also lowers stress levels and increases dopamine levels.
7. BE CURIOUS, ASK QUESTIONS
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back. If you have a question about anything, ask it and make sure you get an answer you’re happy with. Successful people are inherently curious – they find solutions to things most people didn’t know were problems until the solution came to be. This is possibly the most passive tip in this list but by no means the least important. Curiosity creates questions which create avenues of exploration, which ultimately creates intelligence.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg. Truly successful people walk the path less trodden, meaning they find their own way through life. If something difficult presents itself they don’t hesitate to attack it with all they have. They don’t settle for anything less than the best – and neither should you.