Multitasking. The quintessential trait that’s on everyone’s resume and that many people take pride in. We all seem to multitask through our days, but did you know that it could actually be slowing you down? Before I tell you why (and let you in on a better alternative), ask yourself where you fit on the multitasking spectrum.
Have You Ever:
It might seem like you’re streamlining your to-do list by tackling several things at once, but you can actually be cluttering up your brain! When there is information overload happening, it can lead to more mistakes, allows you to retain less information, and actually changes how your brain works (not for the better).
In fact, multitasking on projects that require a lot of thought can make your IQ score dip the same way it does for people who stay up all night! This happens because of the way our brains function, according to researchers from the University of Southern California.
How Multitasking Hurts Your Goals
The theory is that multitasking affects the part of your brain – your prefrontal cortex – that’s responsible for self-control. When you need to pay attention to something, your brain’s prefrontal cortex springs to action. It keeps your brain focused on a single goal while also working with other parts of your brain to help you finish the task. But when you try to multitask? It becomes less active!
This means it’s even HARDER to make good decisions when it comes to any of your goals! In fact, studies show people are more apt to zone out with their self-control when they are multi-tasking.
When you work on one task at a time, both sides of the prefrontal cortex work together in beautiful harmony. On the other hand, if you try to focus on two (or more!) tasks at a time, the left and right sides each do their own thing.
You can see how this would make it hard for your brain to focus on the tasks at hand… and to stick to the healthy choices and changes you want to be making. So, what’s the solution?
Learn to Laser Focus
If you want to be more productive - and make healthier choices - work on focusing on one thing at a time. If this is difficult for you at first, try using a timer. Set a timer for 50-60 minutes and FOCUS ON ONE TASK. Then, take a mini 5-10 minute break, get up, move around, grab another glass of water or a healthy snack, and set the timer again for another period of focus.
It’s a game-changer! Staying set on a task for a set period of time, then taking that break (no matter what), keeps you more focused and productive. This is a perfect example of how everything we do in life is connected. Healthy habits fuel a healthy lifestyle, which fuels an extraordinary life!
You KNOW that I love the power of good habits! Habits like drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, setting out your gym clothes the night before, or journaling before bed are easy to do and make a positive impact in our lives. But what about those bad habits of ours? I have a new way to help you break bad habits - and maybe even change them into good ones!
I know how frustrating it is when you realize you’ve been doing something out of habit (again) that you didn’t even want to do. Like finding yourself arm-deep in a bag of chips whenever you get upset, despite normally being committed to your health goals. Or maybe you drink a glass of wine or two after work each day, but wake up the next day wishing you hadn’t.
We aren’t born with these bad habits - they are learned behaviors! And if you learned to do them, you can also unlearn them. And the key to breaking bad habits has to do with how and why we form any habit in the first place.
Why You Have Bad Habits
Have you ever been so proud of yourself for staying on track all day, only to suddenly find yourself on the couch in the evening eating a bowl of ice cream and forgoing the workout you had intended on doing? You can blame decision fatigue for this sudden lapse in willpower.
What is Decision Fatigue?
One part of my work focuses on how we can use habits to live a life of ease and joy; but in order to do that, we need to create some new habits while breaking others. If you’re struggling in the habit department, I have some ideas why things aren’t going as smoothly as you’d like, plus some tips on how to shift things in your favor.
Reasons Your Habits Aren't Sticking
You know that I love a good goal setting session, and that I think anytime is a good time to review your goals or set new ones. But unless you’re taking action (doing the goal getting), setting goals is moot. So if you’re finding yourself constantly shifting your goals around and not meeting them, I have an idea that might help.
What Your Goals Represent
Did you know that even high-performance coaches like me lose our momentum sometimes? That even with all the knowledge and tricks up our sleeves, our motivation can stall?
I’m happy to say that I’m not currently feeling that way (thank goodness!), but last week I got a good reminder about how motivation works hand in hand with mindset.
I attended a seminar called The Art of Success, and I took so many notes my hand was cramped afterward.
My biggest takeaway that I want to share with you now is that we all have within us an amazing tool to help us reach our goals - if we remember to take care of it.
The Care and Feeding of Motivation (and Mindset)
Have you ever said that you’ll “get started as soon as I find the motivation”? Looking back, did that motivation just show up and encourage you to work on that goal? Probably not!
Our motivation comes from a healthy mindset, and both are what drive you to succeed. Unfortunately, we can’t just turn “on” our motivation when we want to. Very much like exercising our bodies, we need to take care of our mindset so that it can be strong when our motivation wanes.
We're a couple of months past the new year, but as far as I'm concerned, it's always the season for setting goals … and today I’ve got something that will help you to make them a reality, even if you're feeling like you don't have as much momentum as you'd hoped!
It’s a checklist to stay on-track, no matter what goals you’re working toward.
Let's jump in!
10 Steps to Conquering Your Goals
1. FOCUS & DECIDE
Instead of choosing several goals to work on all at the same time, harness all that energy and focus it toward just 1-2 main goals.
2. Pick the goal with your BIGGEST WHY.
This is the goal that you emotionally connect with and have a STRONG REASON for choosing. (example: “I want to have the energy to play with my kids or grandkids” - that’s a pretty big reason)
It’s your “WHY” that keeps you going, so it has to be a good one.
It’s the week of Thanksgiving in the United States and even though it looks much different than usual, things can still get a little hectic and crazy.
Even a small celebration with your household can involve extra planning and shopping.
The number of things you need to get done in a day (let alone a holiday week!) are INCREDIBLE.
It’s easy to feel drained, rushed, and pressured, and feel like you need to focus your attention on all the things you still HAVE to do (lack of something).
The LAST thing you want to take the time to do is slow down and practice a little gratitude. But guess what
Gratitude is one of the surest ways to protect yourself from getting pulled into the negative, stress-filled, and energy-draining hamster wheel.
I read this statistic on Jack Canfield’s blog that blew me away:
“Researchers estimate that we think about 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day – and that about 80% of those thoughts are negative.”
WHAT! That’s a mindblowing amount of negative self-talk.
If you’re going to live the life you are MEANT to live and that you DESERVE, it can’t be dragged down by all of that negativity and doubt.
If you're reading and or watching this when I first put it out, we're more than six months into a worldwide pandemic. We're sick of hearing about uncertainties, unprecedented times, and even our new normal.
Depending on where you live, you may not be "going to" work, depending on whether you're considered an essential worker, still have a job, or already work at home like me. Chances are you've been impacted in some way by the pandemic or the myriad of other crisis going on right now.
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Hi, I’m Crystal!
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