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5 Mind Hacks for World-Class Productivity

Posted by The Editors of TOP DRAWER on


Let's start with a powerful thought experiment...

Imagine a timeline spanning the complete development of the human mind. All the way on the left end is primordial life. And on the right, well, that's where things get exciting! The mind’s full potential.

Consider this: is it possible that we’re still in the "Caveman Era" of the mind's development? In other words, are we still relatively far to the left?

At Tailor & Spruce, we believe the mind is a largely untapped resource – ripe for cultivation and increased performance.  

Which leads us to Part 2 of our efficient series - 5 Mind Hacks for World-Class Productivity. (Be sure to check out Part 1, which covered 12 apps to work smarter, not harder.)

In this article we'll reveal the best tips to ensure that YOUR MIND becomes your unfair advantage at work. We’re talking techniques that can move the needle on the spectrum - strategies to put your mind in a paradigm of its own.

1. Power Poses

Did you know that people can induce an empowered mental state merely by altering their body language? 

Realize this: your mind does not unilaterally control your body language. In fact, the path of least resistance may be to allow your body language to influence your mind

If you haven’t seen it already, watch this TED talk by Amy Cuddy. You’ll discover power poses you can use before an interview or a big meeting. It’s like crack for confidence. And best of all, it costs absolutely nothing.

2. No Complaining Challenge

The No Complaining Challenge was created by Will Bowan (a Kansas City minister) and further popularized by bio-hacking luminary Timothy Ferris.

Here's the challenge: Go 21 days without complaining.

Every time you complain, you must reframe the complaint into an opportunity (within 1-2 minutes). Bowan advises wearing a bracelet on your wrist, and with each belabored complaint, you must switch the bracelet to other hand and restart the clock. 

An invaluable benefit of the challenge is the building a mechanism that transforms every complaint into a positive. In other words: complaint triggers solution. 

If you can go 21 days on the same wrist, you'll not only be more likable to others, but you’ll become a better leader too – guaranteed.

3. Preserve Willpower

Did you know that willpower functions much like a battery? This means that each decision you make throughout your day will drain this precious resource. Luckily, people can mitigate behaviors that drain willpower - simply by automating decisions.

This is precisely why Steve Jobs wore the same jeans and black turtleneck everyday. Streamlining his decision-making around clothes preserved mental energy, allowing him to focus on his critical objectives.

According to a 2012 Forbes article, President Obama has followed suit (literally):

You also need to remove from your life the day-to-day problems that absorb most people for meaningful parts of their day. “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” [Obama] said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” He mentioned research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions. 

Unlike Obama, you may not have a trusted staff to automate every food decision. However, imagine if you could commit to the same nutritious breakfast everyday! Not only will your body thrive, but your mind will be primed to conquer the day too. 

The key takeaway: find something that works and make the decision once to stick with it. You’ll free your mind to make new (and more impactful) decisions.

4. Mind Mapping

Mind Mapping is a note-taking method to visualize, structure and classify your ideas. The technique works because it connects the left (analytical) and right (creative) side of the brain.

Creativity is often defined as the connection of two distinct ideas. One thing you’ll love about Mind Mapping is that it makes it easier to see those connections.

Try mind-mapping in your next brainstorming session and you'll discover an effortless flow of creativity. To learn more, we recommend the book Mind Maps by Michael Taylor.

5. Idea Muscle

If you’re reading this, it means you’re ready to train your mind for massive creativity. In Choose Yourself, idea guru James Altucher lets us in on his secret to fruitful thoughts (and bushels of money).

The basic tenant: your mind is like a muscle, and like any muscle it must be trained for consistent performance.

His advice is to get into the habit of brainstorming ideas. Constantly. Work towards at least 10 a day, on any topic of your choosing.

Don't know where to start? Tweet @tailorandspruce and share some blog topics you'd like us to cover! :) 


Stay tuned for Part 3 of our series - the top style resources for busy men. Get the edge by joining our newsletter at the bottom of the page.

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