Whether we love or hate our jobs, the amount of work most of us have to do each day has reached unsustainable levels. We start a typical workday anxious about how we will get it all done, who we might let down, and which important tasks we will sacrifice-again- so we can keep our heads above water.
As we grab our first cups of coffee, we check our e-mail inboxes on our handheld devices, scanning to see who has added a new task to our to-do list. The stress builds as we read e-mail after e-mail, each containing a request that we know can’t be dealt with quickly. We mark these e-mails as unread and save them for . . . ‘later.’ We mentally add them to the piles of work left undone the night before (when we left our offices much too late). More e-mails to answer, more phone calls to return, more paperwork to fill out. And everything needs our immediate attention.
In fact, too many things need our attention before we can even get to the tasks that really matter-and too many things matter. We frequently work all day long-at the office and then at home, taking care of our families, cleaning up, paying bills-sometimes only stopping to sleep. There simply isn’t enough time, but so much always needs to be done.
The key to achieving fantastic levels of effectiveness is to work with our biology. We may all be capable of impressive feats of comprehension, motivation, emotional control, problem solving, creativity, and decision making when our biological systems are functioning optimally. But we can be terrible at those very same things when our biological systems are suboptimal. The amount of exercise and sleep we get and the food we eat can greatly influence these mental functions in the short term—even within hours. The mental functions we engage in just prior to tackling a task can also have a powerful effect on whether we accomplish that task.
Research findings from the fields of psychology and neuroscience are revealing a great deal about when and how we can set up periods of highly effective mental functioning. In this book, I’ll share in detail five deceptively simple strategies that I have found are the most successful in helping busy people create the conditions for at least two hours of incredible productivity each day:
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About the Author
Josh Davis, Ph.D., received his bachelor¹s from Brown University and his doctorate from Columbia University. He is the director of research for the NeuroLeadership Institute (NLI), a global institute dedicated to synthesizing scientific research and guiding its use in the business and leadership fields. Davis is also a member of the faculty at Barnard College of Columbia University, a NeuroCoach, and a certified Master Practitioner in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). HE has blogged for HBR.org and Psychology Today, and his work has been reported online at CNN, CBS News, MSNBC, USA Today, and Bloomberg Businessweek.