I first met Ben Young, through a friend, over Skype as we sat on opposite sides of the globe. We clicked, I was instantly enamored with his passion and insatiable appetite for high performance in every aspect of his life.
I knew this meeting, our first, would soon be just one of many.
Ben has an impressive resume, he’s equally at home coaching in a corporate boardroom as he is performing muscle ups on the gymnastic rings.
Everyday, Ben works with corporate executives, managers and individuals to achieve incredible and sustainable results. I’ve personally been blessed by Ben and I know that you will be also.
The purpose of this post is simple: to teach you how break past the mundane, and to achieve greater productivity through higher-level thinking.
He will be your guide…
We live in an age of overwhelm. Never before has a worker experienced more electronics and gadgets distracting them or demanding their response. Mile-long to-do lists to juggle, all the while navigating through the ever changing nature of their departmental structure, management, and working environment.
These apparent challenges stand in the way to being truly effective at work.
Arriving to work on Monday morning, to manage the trivial and deal with the urgent, can actually inhibit our performance. Especially, of the more detailed, finite and conceptual activities we have ahead in the day.
What Impacts Our Productivity?
In order to set the right intentions and truly act on the important at work we need to implement ‘Level 3 thinking’.
Level 3 thinking, is thinking that requires a high degree of mental energy for our conscious processor – a relatively small and newly evolved region of our brains: the prefrontal cortex.
In light of this, it is important to recognize what level 3 activities are and how to manage them, knowing that the part of the brain that is responsible for doing more conceptual thinking is in fact energy limited.
It’s like a child’s rechargeable toy helicopter; it only has a limited timeframe in staying off the ground and it will never work properly if it’s not regularly recharged.
Below are the different levels of thinking we implore and the increasing demand it imposes on our mind.
The higher we climb up the levels, the more complex the activity becomes and the greater the energy demand is upon the brain.
Great, How Can I Improve My Productivity?
Making sure we deliver on our ‘Level 3 thinking’ tasks and maximizing performance at work requires capitalizing on our peak energy stages, regularly refueling/recharging our brain and dealing with inherent threat, uncertainty and/or turbulence within our company culture.
Ask yourself these questions, the answers point to greater productivity.
- Reschedule and Simplify: In light of the brain being a limited energy resource how would you change, reschedule or simplify your Level 1 and 2 activities to meet, more effectively, the demands of your energy hungry and energy demanding Level 3 activities?
- Refuel and Recharge: When it comes to ‘fueling your inputs’ how effectively do you manage your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual reservoirs of energy to fuel your outputs? How can you improve?
- Culture Standing in the Way: The brain processes fear and negative emotion as a top priority. If your company culture is currently experiencing a lot of uncertainty or turbulence, what can you and your leaders do to strengthen employees’ ability to focus on goals and delivery of those goals instead of the inherent threats standing in their way?