Maintaining Mental Sharpness for the Self-Employed

Share By Martina McGowan, Business2Community

‘Tis the sharpness of our mind that gives the edge

to our pains and pleasures.

Michel de Montaigne

You have probably suffered through times when you felt as though you were just going through the motions and losing your focus on more occasions that you would like to remember. It happens to everyone. Losing your mental sharpness is something that can creep up and interfere with your productivity. But it is a scenario that you definitely do not want to drift regularly. This is true whether you are employed by someone else, or are self-employed. It amounts to committing professional sabotage or suicide. If this happens to you often, then the time has come for you to look at ways to maintain your mental sharpness.

Here are a few easy techniques for staying on top of your game:

1. Get enough rest at night. You would be surprised to know how much of an impact a restful night’s sleep can have on your performance at work the next day. If you allow yourself to get into the habit of running on limited sleep, your body may adjust and you may feel like as though you are performing optimally. But, nothing could be further from the truth. Lack of restful sleep directly impacts your mental sharpness, even if you do not “feel tired.” Aim to get between six and eight hours of sleep at night so your mind can be fresh and sharp each morning.

2. Take regular breaks during the course of your day. The same case applies to taking regular breaks during the course of your work day. Sometimes work can be so overwhelming that you do not realize how much time has passed. It can really wear on your mind and result in less than desired accuracy.

  • During your breaks, use the time to do anything other than work.
  • A walk around the block can be surprisingly refreshing!

3. Work on a schedule. Always try to pace yourself when working. Learn to schedule enough work that you know you can accomplish, but not too much that it will be an unyielding burden to you. The more you practice, the better you will get at estimating how much time various tasks will take. Schedule specific time slots for every function, and aim to complete them in that time.

  • Taking this approach will allow you to maintain productivity without having a dull mind. Of course, there will be days when you feel you can do much more. So, by all means, go for it.

4. Speak up if you do not understand. Sometimes, because you want to impress your clients or contacts, you may take on a task without fully comprehending what is required of you. Then, you make the mistake of trying to sort it out on your own.

  • This can have a tremendously negative impact on your mental capacity that day! You spend your work time trying to understand the task instead of actually doing it. Avoid this situation by saying you do not fully understand when you do not.

These tips for maintaining mental sharpness in the workplace are fairly easy to implement. Start with one strategy. Once you perfect it, move on to the next. Remember that your aim is to achieve the highest level of productivity you can on a regular basis. Avoid putting yourself in the position where you are unable to maintain your output because of a lack of mental sharpness.

Stay on top of things for work! Be the stellar player that everyone else wants to emulates by sharpening your mind and keeping it that way.

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