When was the last time you took the time to learn something new?
I know this can be hard especially when you have work, family life and other commits to fit around.
Self development Is a really important but often overlooked skill.
Taking the time to learn a new skill or enhance an existing one can be very rewarding both mentally and in other ways.
I used to do this a lot but slipped off the wagon and since going back to it I’ve found it a really great way to stimulate the brain.
I find it best to mix it up 50/50 between stuff that is relevant to my field and my interests and stuff that is totally out my usual circles.
This serves two purposes it helps keep me engaged and focused within my own area and also allows escapism and freedom of thought in other areas that don’t directly affect me and I therefore have no responsibility for.
My favourite way to do both of these is podcasts.
I listen to them on the way to and from work everyday.
This is a great use of otherwise wasted time plus it’s gets your brain ticking for the day ahead.
Rather than walking into work in a bad mood because you’ve spent an hour in traffic you’ll walk in energised and full of fresh information ready to use and apply.
I’ll then listen to the random unrelated one when I go for my afternoon/evening dog walk.
I encourage anyone to do this, 30 minuted completely to yourself, totally disengaged from all of your problems, outside in the fresh air.
An audiobook would work great for this as well. The important thing is that its something that allows you to totally switch off from yourself.
I believe it’s more important than ever to engage the brain in this way.
Technology has made it easy and easier to become lazy and the mind numbing effect social media has noticeably effects the way our brains work.
We’ve all done nothing all day then when we try to get back to working and being productive our brain is foggy.
Social media is extremely engaging but it’s not stimulating and if it is it’s usually in the worst way possible.
Leading to stress, worry and self depreciation. It doesn’t allow you to switch off from yourself in fact it usually brings you front and centre.
I’ve mentioned it before but another important thing here is just keeping your brain busy.
If you aren’t doing something you’ll be thinking about something else.
Free time is a killer the more empty space you have the more your brain will fill it with stresses.
It’s almost impossible to think about nothing so eventually you’ll find something to think about and it’s usually negative.
Using this empty space for productivity will help avoid this and it’ll also mean when you do have to re-engage with real life you’ll be feeling relaxed rather than carrying a load of mental baggage around with you for the rest of the day.
So if you’ve been stuck in the cycle of life recently make an effort to try and incorporate some of these ideas and see if it helps positively effect your thinking, mindset and performance.