Ah, our days off are wonderful aren’t they?, or maybe they are not, maybe they are too short, well they might be, but that could mean our days off are not being used wisely. The time off is our chance to be productive, and work on ourselves. We have the time, energy, and freedom to […]

via Make Your Days Off Productive — Psychology of Mindfulness

How Oxytocin Can Help Us Be More Neurologically Productive

Author Article

Invariably, a hoard of studies exploring the famously ambiguous hormone knows as oxytocin begin to pepper the internet around Valentine’s Day. What we do know about the pituitary function however-its profound effect on childbearing, empathy and social interaction, is more than enough to warrant its dubbing as “The Love Hormone.”Tend and defendThe endocrinology is simultaneously a punch to the gut and a pat on the back.On one hand, it’s a little underwhelming to know that all of the things that make us feel warm and husky can be traced to a gland residing in the rotting meat in our heads. But it’s somehow concurrently comforting to know why and how we love someone can be vividly sketched by neurology.

As it turns out love is encouraged and mediated by a temperate-mathematic entity; every kiss and hug funded by a network of hypothalamic animations. But oxytocin doesn’t retire once bonds have been successfully established between mates.

The neuropeptide is expressed primarily in women as it helps with increasing uterine contractions during labor and cervical dilation. It promotes the nurturing maternal link by surging in accordance with things like a child’s cry and suckling.

Oxytocin levels increase in recent father’s as well, though its stimulation belongs to different factors; arousing play, focus on joint exploration, and stimulatory touch specifically.

More grimly, the neurotransmitter has been proven to inspire intolerance. A study conducted back in 2014, examined two groups of Dutch men: one group given oxytocin, the other given placebos.

Both groups were tasked with choosing five men they would give lifeboats to. The ones on oxytocin were found to be more likely to reject Muslim or German-sounding names, while the placebo group’s decisions were notably less informed by superficial factors.

The hormone’s mission to tend and defend makes us more prone to form allegiances towards those with similar characteristics and just as well more readily aware of distinctions.

We are genetically presupposed to crumble in the presence of tribalism.

Neuroeconomics

There are less obvious by-products of the hypothalamus as well.  Because oxytocin impacts our ability to process social cues, it indirectly correlates to our productivity in the workplace.

In an attempt to better comprehend the effect neurology has on a healthy corporate community, neuroeconomist Paul J. Zak, successfully administered synthetic oxytocin into living brains during an experiment in the early 2000s.  His team of researchers found increased levels of the hormones to have a clear effect on the firm’s profitability and the feelings of fulfillment in those cohabiting it.

According to Zak, productivity lives and dies by one stipulation: a strong community composed of members that have a clear understanding of their purpose within it.

Being rewarded trust by another increases levels of oxytocin significantly. Individuals with higher levels of oxytocin are found to have lower levels of stress, depression and be more apt at social interaction.

The same tend and defend mechanic can apply to a corporation. Employers are biologically incentivized to work harder for those they feel bonded towards.

Zak remarks: “These laboratory studies showed that when trust between team members is high, oxytocin flows and work feels less like, well, work, and more like doing interesting things with friends. ”

Organic methods of raising oxytocin

The production of oxytocin is all about catering to all the things that bring you joy. Considering the intimate things that make us happy is sort heretical in the corporate world, but it has an undeniable affect on its ability to thrive. Pet a dog, listen to music, copulate, take a bubble bath, hug a baby, (your own baby please).

The great thing about oxytocin though is that it responds equally to feeling good as it does to making others feel good. Giving gifts has been studied to raise levels of the hormone. Perfect timing too. People that receive chocolate and flowers exhibit higher levels of oxytocin, as do people that bequeath them.

It’s an evolutionary mistake not to revel in love and empathy.

The Best List You’ll Ever Make To Be More Effective

Author Article Here
By MARY LEE GANNON

We all have to-do lists, project objectives, metrics and planners to help keep us on track in our daily lives. Each year we set high expectations and even with these tools we find ourselves frustrated because we don’t have the structure, systems, or accountability in place to achieve our goals. Couple that with doubt and indecision and you have a perfect recipe for anxiety. In the worst case this leads to action paralysis.Let’s talk about the best case. Most people know what they need to do to be happy, effective and thrive just not how to do it or what to do with doubt and fear. We spend enough time telling ourselves how we are not equipped to succeed and armoring up against failure by being risk averse. We wallow proficiently on what it is we need to do but spend less time feeling what it would be like to actually live the dream and executing a plan to get there. Guarding against danger is how we have evolved as a species and not become extinct.

We are Jedis at searching the environment for danger. We are not innately good at promoting ourselves into opportunity. Opportunity isn’t essential to stay alive. Staying safe is. Let’s reverse the pattern.

The purpose of creating this list is: 1) to give you definition around the areas where you thrive so that you can spend more time there especially when challenged, and 2) to build self-awareness around opportunities for growth that increase your executive presence and effectiveness.

The best list you’ll ever make to be more effective

Create two columns, side by side, on a sheet of paper numbered one to 10. A word document is good for this exercise so that you may modify it as time goes on.

 FIRST COLUMN: Label this “I AM THIS”

  1. Think of a time from your childhood when you were at your very best – happy, included, a star.  Write down 3 words that describe who you were in that situation.  What were you doing, thinking and feeling and how were you behaving? Examples: Listening, Planning, Being Vulnerable, Compassionate, Gentle, Strong, Tenacious, Resourceful, Confident, Capable, Open.    
  2. Think of a time professionally when you were at your very best and write down 3 words that describe what you were doing, thinking and feeling and how you were behaving.
  3. Think of a peak personal moment where you felt appreciated, respected, effective and write down 4 more words that describe who you were in that situation.

SECOND COLUMN: Label this “NOT THAT”

    1. Next to each entry in Column 1 write what you are doing when you are NOT at your best specific to the corresponding behavior beside it. This should reflect what you exhibit or the feel when you are NOT leading from that point of strength. If your point of strength is ‘Tenacious’ what are you doing when you don’t feel that? Weak? Ineffective? Examples for NOT THAT words are: Threatened, Criticized, Afraid of ____, Distracted, Losing Control, Abandoned, Disappointed, Challenged.

The list on the left is who you truly are at your core. This list on the right is what happens to you when you don’t feel that way. Knowledge is power so be honest when you create the list. Now when you feel one of the negative feelings or exhibit one of the negative behaviors from the second column revisit the first column to see precisely what you need to focus on to get back to a position of strength. For more career strategies get the FREE report: 31 Success Practices for Leaders in the High Stakes Corporate World. https://www.maryleegannon.com/31-success-practices-for-leaders

 Challenging situations occur in everyone’s lives that often impart feelings of despair. Fear can set in followed by repeated defensive behaviors that draw you away from your ability to thrive in your career, goals and relationships with confidence.  Post this list where will you will see it every day to remind yourself of where your strengths lie and what to focus on when negative feelings or behaviors surface. 

Next time you are feeling anxious look at this list and the correlating positive word that is at your core. That is the very thing you want to reflect on, meditate on, create a plan around. Now you have an actionable strategy to reverse the negativity!

Daily Habits That Will Help Increase Productivity

See Author Article Here — video here
By Natalie MacNeil

No matter how much you get done a daily basis, or how long your checked off to-do list is, procrastination is a challenge even the best and most organized of us face. Of course, it doesn’t mean we’re lazy. We’re all warriors changing the world with our ideas and passion for our businesses.

Still, there are days where we wake up with an exploding inbox, or out of control to-do list, and exactly zero will to tackle any of it.

I get it, I’ve been there too.

And then it spirals, right? You procrastinate, feel off, procrastinate further, feel guilty, and before you know it you’re wrapped in your personal burned-out-but-frustrated-with-yourself cocoon. It can be so hard to full yourself out of it, but if this is something you struggle with?

You’re in exactly the right place — and today’s episode of She Takes on the World is for you.

Jim Kwik is back for the final episode of the Kwik Habits series, and this time around he’s talking about his productivity hacks, as well as how he avoids procrastination and keeps what matters to him the most in his view through it all.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

Try one of Jim’s many techniques for overcoming procrastination and dropping into your most productive state.

  1. Jim’s “4 G’s” for a Kwik mindset
  2. Breaking your biggest tasks down
  3. Starting with your why – finding the reasons and reaping the rewards
  4. Just starting, somewhere. Anywhere.

And no matter what, remember to be kind to yourself, especially when you catch yourself in a spiral like procrastination. If you’re kind to yourself when you don’t live up to your highest of expectations, you’re more likely to improve next time. As always, make one of these daily rituals and practices your own this week.