Small Seeds #8 -Automate Your Decisions

Did you know that your brain power functions much like a battery?

This means that each decision you make throughout your day will drain this precious resource.

Luckily, people can mitigate behaviours that drain them – 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.

And then there was Albert Einstein. It has been reported that the famous physicist bought several versions of the same grey suit because he didn’t want to waste brainpower on choosing an outfit each morning.

According to a Forbes article, President Obama is another one that finds these kind of repetitive habits useful!

“You’ll see I wear only grey or blue suits. 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.” Barack Obama

We may not have the kind of insanely hectic and pressured life that a world leader has and you may not have a trusted staff to automate every food decision.

But you should also consider removing the day to day problems from your life, the things that absorb most people for meaningful parts of their day.

Is your precious morning, the first impactful moments that define the rest of your day, really worth cluttering up with wondering which clothes to wear?

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.

I had a lovely boss until recently who used to have the same boring sandwich every single working day. A £1.25 Tuna Mayonnaise Sainsbury’s sandwich. I could never figure it out, how boring and mediocre. But it just now occurs to me that it was for this very reason! One less thing to think about when there are so many more important things worthy of attention.

Perhaps you too should consider the things in your life that you could automate.

Until recently I always used to think that my work attire of almost exclusively black trousers and a variety of pretty but quite muted (grey or purple being my colours of choice, I’ve no idea where the brand colours came from!) was just a little bit boring and perhaps I should liven it up a bit.

It’s not something I spend time worrying about any more.

It is worth spending some time considering this question in relation to your life – what daily decisions could you do without?

Small Seeds #7 – 21 Days Positive

So I’ve recently decided to take  a break from the negativity of the world … this obviously includes the TV News, Newspapers, Trending Twitter Feeds, Current Affairs shows, Question Time to name just the obvious ones.

That also includes a few friends but don’t tell them I said so 😉

Because, frankly, the lens through which we are asked to view humanity at the moment presents just the most unrelentingly miserable view.

I had started to notice that it was seeping into my bones!

Repeated complaining rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely.

Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you.

Your brain loves efficiency and doesn’t like to work any harder than it has to. When you repeat a behaviour, such as complaining, your neurons branch out to each other to ease the flow of information.

This makes it much easier to repeat that behaviour in the future—so easy, in fact, that you might not even realize you’re doing it.

If you are not careful complaining becomes your default behaviour, which changes how people perceive you.

So I have been doing a bit of wandering around the internet this evening in search of positivity and inspiration and I found an absolute gem.

I can’t believe I have never heard of Will Bowen before but being a bit of a positivity junkie, however much I might be having a little wobble at the moment, I am very happy that I have now.

He has a challenge for us!

To go 21 days without complaining.

Every time you complain, you must reframe the complaint into an opportunity (within 1-2 minutes). Will Bowan advises wearing a bracelet on your wrist, and with each 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.

Now I don’t think I am too bad at that but in all honestly I think perhaps I will be surprised by how much I complain without thinking about it.

Apparently, 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.

Sounds good to me.

So starting tomorrow morning I am on a mission.

21 days to rewire my brain?

It seems like such a small price to pay!

But I don’t think I will be going back to Question Time any time soon 😉

“You can complain because roses have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” Ziggy 

Small Seeds #5 – Spend Time Alone

Time for another Small Seeds blog … this one borne out of the delightful way I am spending my Saturday!

For me spending time alone is not a regular affair, as I suspect will be the case with many.

If we are not with others we are texting, tweeting, phoning, emailing ad infinitum. In this pro-social world silence is a rare gift.

We are always going somewhere or doing something but spending some time with yourself can reap enormous benefits.

Being more in tune with yourself and more relaxed can also make the time you spend with others more enjoyable!

I am having a lovely alone Saturday after a hectic Festive season, with only my sofa, a pile of movies, my laptop and a never ending supply of tea.

Everyone has a different idea of a blissful day, What would you enjoy doing on your own?

There is no pressure as to how well you perform

Day to day life is fraught with expectations of how you should look, how you should act, what you should do and how you should perform.

Everyone needs a break from expectation at some point!

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Your unique brand of creativity flourishes

The brain needs peace and space to wander and roam, creativity is hard in an open plan office!

I get my best thinking done when taking a break from the world.

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Gear down, refresh and get ready to tackle the world

We live in a very hectic and noisy world and it’s been a long day, week, month & year.

Everyone needs time to take a breath.

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Quiet time can help you sort through problems

To make headway with prickly problems I’ve always found it is important to get some space from them.

To take a step away and find some perspective.

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Become more relaxed and tolerant

Generally, when people and events increasingly appear annoying to you, the more you could benefit from some time on your own!

You have a limited ability to change the world  and people around you.

But you can change your perspective.

I’ve always found that taking time out is essential for balance and calm.

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Explore the possibilities for your life

What would you REALLY like to do or achieve?

How can you go about it? What do you need to do to be able to start?

Think things through.

Allow your mind to wander.

Never relegate ANYTHING as impossible.

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Small Seeds #2 – Read Something Different

I absolutely love reading, anything and everything!

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I suppose it is one of the reasons I absolutely LOVE social media, it opens you up to all sorts of information you might never otherwise have happened upon.

One of my absolute favourite finds ever is a blog called Brain Pickings

It is simply brilliant!

Not only is the writing of a quality that I could only ever dream of being able to produce, but the subject matter is such a wide variety and never fails to suck me in.

The logo is a little on the Hannibal side of macabre but I doubt you will be disappointed with the never endingly interesting content 🙂

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Small Seeds #1 – Take Control

I love it when you have a flash of inspiration don’t you?

I find blogging such a relaxing and satisfying activity but all of my blogs up to now have tended to be quite long. Time for something shorter and punchier, the Small Seeds Series!

Sometimes life can be a roller coaster and seem unsettlingly out of control, if you are like me that could be a feeling you have most of the time 🙂

But think about this …. how can you start to make a difference tomorrow, how can you take back a little bit of control?

My favourite one is to think of someone I want to be more like and pick one trait I can work on for the week to come. I won’t bore you with who she is but she is serene, bright, classy and always seems so very in control.

I think this is probably Dr Seuss’s fault, if I want to pick myself up from the doldrums I always think of ‘Today I am going to act as if this is the day I am going to be remembered’. A rather fabulous and effective fake it till you make it kind of a vibe!

It doesn’t have to be that for you – is there a problem at work that has been bothering you? Can’t see a way out? Pick one little thing you can do next week that would get you closer to your goal. Relationship problem? Do the same. Pick one thing, however small and start to move forward. Problem with your business – boil it right down to the very simple and pick something to work on.

No one else if going to do it for you, and in a week/ a month/ a year/ a decade you will wish that you had started TODAY.

Your mission for this week should you wish to accept it …

Decide What Would Make You Happier

&

Move You Closer To The Life You Want

Then

TAKE THE FIRST STEP!

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Small Seeds #4 – Read, and Dream BIG!

This is a very quick one!

I just got my daily email from Bookbub and downloaded one of many, many free books that I have found through them and it occurred to me … the word should be spread 🙂

I LOVE reading – it expands my knowledge, it soothes my soul after a bad day, it sends me to sleep when my brain refuses to STOP and it allows me to escape to different worlds as if crawling through an abandoned wardrobe full of fusty old fur coats in an aging uncles forgotten attic.

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If you have a similar thirst for reading I would highly recommend this site … not only do their daily email put books in front of you that you might never have otherwise discovered, many are at a VASTLY reduced cost and at least some of them every day are completely free.

Give it a go, where’s the harm … Click Here

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