You are not alone! In this information-age that we live in, we are constantly bombarded with emails, messages, marketing and the need to keep abreast of latest trends and technologies, and then add that on top of family life and the day job! So what can we do to resolve this? This is a question I've been mulling over, as I work through my tasks for today with a stack of business and coaching books sitting at my side waiting to be read. It seems that the 'to-do-list' is never ending. I've been researching developments in neuroscience and picking out the latest knowledge to help us tackle this key issue that we face, and for which clients tend to come to me for coaching.
What I have discovered in a nut shell; is that our brains haven't quite evolved to the level required to handle the quantity of information coming at us on a daily basis. The Prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that enables us to problem solve, make decisions, prepare, plan and be creative. Whereas, the Cerebrum takes care of tasks that we carry out without paying much conscious attention such as driving to work and carrying out routine tasks. However, using both parts of the brain at once requires a huge amount of energy. Eg driving to work and trying to come up with the detailed content of a speech is a challenge. Carrying out routine tasks is easier which is why when faced with a complex problem or planning task, we tend to find a plethora of other routine tasks to do first (eg make a coffee, check emails, browse the web).
Focusing the prefrontal cortex to carry out the more complex brain tasks is a challenge. However, it is also the path to success. The key is to prioritise! This might sound obvious, but what's new is the rationale behind why we need to conciously manage our brain, which helps put us in charge of where we focus our time.
To do this: Decide each day which tasks will reap the greatest rewards, set goals and prioritise your day accordingly. This requires us to force our prefrontal cortex to work harder - this part of the brain brings about longer term success.
For example, pick 1 or 2 tasks for the day that will help you move closer to your longer term goals and get started. Set aside time for the more 'tempting' routine tasks but do these later unless urgent (eg emails). That way your 'automatic' brain can't hijack your day and you can make progress with the goals and tasks that you know are important. So in summary PRIORITISE - this is the most important brain-hack for changing our behaviour and results! If this is a challenge, hiring a coach to provide momentum to achieving your goals is also highly effective. Contact us if you would like to find out more. ....Here's to a very productive day everyone!
Coaching is significantly on the increase - most Executives these days have experienced coaching and a recent CIPD study reported that 80% of companies surveyed had implemented coaching as an effective way to develop their leaders. A growing number of companies have brought this coaching in house, training internal coaches to provide coaching support to staff. This has led to the need for coach supervision, as a means to quality assure coaches and to develop their coaching skills further. At Coach & Develop we have been approached by several clients to provide coach supervision.
Employee Wellbeing and Resilience
At Coach & Develop Ltd have been running a series of bitesize ‘Resilience’ and ‘Wellbeing’ workshops for groups of staff in a number of our client organisations. We have been incorporating elements from Positive Psychology and Mindfulness into these sessions which have been very well received, there certainly seems to be a growing appetite for this kind of training as we pay more attention to the wellbeing of staff and how it positively impacts on employee engagement. DISC can also be used to create greater team insight and Lencioni's 5 Behaviours of a Cohesive Team, to build more successful teams.
Coaching Masterclasses near you!
The Association for Coaching (AC) run a series of short masterclasses on Coaching related topics from key speakers and authors from around the globe at locations across the UK including London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin. See AC’s webpage for forthcoming events that might inspire you or others in your organisation: http://www.associationforcoaching.com/events/all/#
What everyone needs to know to be more productive
A recurring theme for many of our clients is how to get everything we need to get done within the working hours available? With so many competing demands, we could all benefit from finding out how to ramp up our personal productivity to achieve what we need to achieve to ensure success without burnout. The following article from HBR sums up the research well. One of the keys to success is to have clarity around our priorities and boundaries so we prevent ourselves from taking on too much. Coaching can help to achieve this clarity. To read more on this use the HBR link:
At Coach & Develop Ltd, we are qualified to use the latest Leadership profiling tools such as Hogan Lead. To find out more about the 11 career derailing personality dispositions and how to assess for these and manage them successfully in the workplace see Hogan’s website for more information or contact us at Coach & Develop to discuss how we can support you in developing your leaders: http://www.hoganassessments.co.uk/training/HDSVideoMenu1.aspx