I’m back on Prednisone again. One of the chemo drugs I was on during my cancer treatment has a very long tail, meaning that side effects can reoccur for a long time. In this drug’s case, twenty years.
The problem with Prednisone (a steroid drug) is that it does weird things with your head. You go from having an initial feeling of euphoria to one of having your head feel like it’s full of giant marshmallows. Unfortunately for me the giant marshmallows seem to take up more space than the feeling of euphoria.
Prednisone has taught me to be very mindful of when my mind is clear. Since I know there will be period where my mind is clear, I need to know that this is the time for me to take advantage and go immediately to work that requires my entire mind.
The same is likely true for you. There are times of the day where your mind works better than others. You might have read that you should do mind work in the morning. I’m not sure this is true, but I do know you will often know in what time of day you’re likely to be more productive.
Save your productive time for doing high value work. We can’t be productive all of the time. We live in a 24/7 world where people can contact us at any time and expect we’re with it.
I have a sister-in-law who seems to always be on call and always under stress. Her company doesn’t recognize that people need to time to re-charge and they can’t always be “on call”. This particular company is getting far than the best from their employees because of their unrealistic expectations of what their people and more importantly their minds can handle.
Be clear about what you want to do when. This requires a little introspection. You will want to look at your own life and chart what time of the day you’re at your best. If you can figure it out, this might be the time to shut down your email, turn off your voice mail, and just work on things that can add value.
You’ll likely find that in one or two hours of concentrated effort when you’re at your best you produce more than in eight or ten hours of work that is interrupted by all of the electronic gadgets that we have.
Forget about multi-tasking. Multi-tasking just doesn’t work and there is research that now solidly backs this up. What might look like multi-tasking is actually rapid task switching. Rapid task switching always slows us down. We have to stop and re-engage our brain which takes up bandwidth. If this happens to be at a time we’re productive then we’re really wasting the capacity we have for high level work.
Being back on Prednisone has helped me re-think the whole process of how to be productive. I’m hoping that you can do the same by just spending a few minutes thinking about when you do your best and then take advantage of that information.
We have a resource center with various mind maps I’ve put together on different strategic activities you might want to consider. I believe and our clients agree that mind maps are very effective way of understanding complex issues. You might find some of these maps useful and interesting. To see what we’re offering click on the button below and you’ll be taken to our mind map resource center.