My Brain Sucks at Time Management Skills

As a business owner, entrepreneur, writer, and family I wear multiple hats to get everything done almost simultaneously. This demand to very efficiently manage my time so I won’t lose track, lose focus, and waste our most precious asset, our TIME.

I have all struggled with maintaining a consulting business with projects around the world, and my personal life balance because I don’t want to fail on any of them. I have tried many time-management systems, electronic, hard-copy agendas, reminders, side notes in order to be effective with my time consumption but I am still experiencing the same problem until today – An eureka moment!

Today I decided to analyze the issue from the inside-out!

I decided to research how to manage my time from the neuroscientific perspective and what rules can I use to be more successful in my “Time Management”: as a young neuroscientist I know that our neural capacity isn’t infinite, and is painfully cognizant that every one of those thousand tiny threads we can’t let go of as we go about our lives takes up precious bandwidth. So, in order to maximize my time and your time as well, here are some points for your consideration in order to improve our “Time Management Skills” and be more successful in all your life “arista”.

1. Set-Priorities- Don’t overload your brain- we are continuously bombarded with data which need to be catalog and prioritize in order to be processed. By prioritizing your “brain processing capacity” we will be utilizing a lot less energy and “mental disk space” in our brains.

2. Compartmentalize your attention- there is no such thing as multitasking, the reality is that the brain processing speed is so fast that it creates the parallel illusion of multi-tasking. To give you an idea, that it takes about 100 to 250 milliseconds for the brain to complete one “thought”. Since you have 100 billion biological CPU cores all running in parallel, that would be roughly like one core running at something like 400 to 1,000 GHzIf a new tangential thought invades your mind about another matter, “park” that though with a quick note to remind yourself at a later time and resume focusing on your main task.

3. First things First- our brain uses energy like every other part of your body and although we might not run out of “gas” because of heavy mental tasks alone, our body will react through stress and other physical responses. Knowing this, start your day prioritizing your activities.

4. Visual Workload- our brain loves visuals, let’s use a visualization technique for creating images, diagrams, or animations to communicate the level of priority of any task or activity to your brain. Visualization through visual imagery has been an effective way to communicate both abstract and concrete ideas since the dawn of humanity.

5. Dynamically Engage and Disengage your Brain – The temporal relationship between neural activities is one of the most fundamental neural properties that determine the degree of information exchange between distributed brain regions and dictates short and long-term plasticity (; ). This means we can maximize our time management by focusing our minds for approximately 90 minutes on the most challenging and important task and then provide some rest to the brain by doing any much simpler task.

Final Note: Manage your attention, not your time – Be Mindful!

Right now, please look out through your eyes and, set your attention in noticing the words on this screen, recognize that you are “seeing.” Feel the contact of the computer mouse in your hands, noticing its texture, weight, and form, and know you are “touching.” Watching the thoughts floating in your mind, wondering what will come next, know that you are “thinking.”

This lucid presence of mind that simply, effortlessly, notices what is true for you at the moment is called to be mindful.

This dynamic state of attention is a deep, direct awareness of the present moment. It is your natural capacity and most crucial tool for discovering and sustaining a balance between all the aspects of your journey thru life.

I hope you find my tips useful enough to share this post and if you have any questions or would like to participate in any of our Project Management and Neuroscience Seminars, please do not hesitate to contact me at tagrait@gmail.com

In gratitude!

Thomas

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