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GO ZONE Hack Boosts Daily Productivity.

Setting myself up to be spectacularly productive begins by assigning each of my daily to-do items into 1 of 2 categories: “dumb things” and “smart things.” These designations aren’t personal judgments on how much I enjoy or value the activities. It’s all about how much of my brain will be called upon to accomplish each task well.

For example, some “dumb things” that might need done are unloading the dishwasher, taking the dog for a walk, driving to work, or skimming through emails. They don’t demand great mental effort, strategy, calculations, focus, or special training. The stakes are also low but they all need done. “Smart things” could include filling out taxes returns, selecting a new insurance plan, or writing an important business report. You get the idea.

Okay, so the notion that some things are more mentally challenging than others is not rocket surgery. What is lesser-known is that your brain works more effectively or less effectively at different times of the day. Basically, there are times when you are smart (alert, focused, sharp) and times when you are dumb (unfocused, distracted, inattentive). Although there are larks (morning people) and owls (night people) across all age groups, older adults tend to have more attentiveness and mental clarity in the morning which declines as the day wears on. Younger adults, on the other hand, often experience the opposite - picking up mental steam as the day moves forward.

To get the most out of each day:

1.) Determine which part of the day you have the most energy, positive attitude, alertness, and lucidity – this is your GO ZONE when you are “smart.”

2.) Earmark your most mentally challenging activities (smart things) to be accomplished during your GO ZONE time block.

3.) Plan to fill in the rest of your day with all the dumb things on your to do list. Consider this your NO ZONE when you are “dumb.”

Simply coupling task type with the right mental state will increase your productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. In a nutshell, to boost daily productivity, do smart things when you’re smart and dumb things when you’re dumb.

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