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Why Should You Play To Your Strengths?

So, you have begun on a route towards Organising yourself. But it’s an uphill battle; never a trundle. To succeed there are a few brain hacks you must utilise. You must do so to trick yourself into being motivated; keep going. 

Let’s talk about Dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is utilised by your nervous system to send messages to nerve cells. Responsible for feeling pleasure, Dopamine is vital to the way that we plan and become motivated. 

Where is Dopamine present in day-to-day life? 

Dopamine is responsible for functions such as: 

  • Mood regulation
  • Motivation
  • Libido
  • Attention span
  • Sleep quality

But how can we learn to hack Dopamine and become better motivated? 

The modern world has developed in a way that our primal brains haven’t caught up with yet. No longer are we navigating a wilderness of sparse selection of high-calorie foods and life-threatening situations being around every corner.

Nowadays we have McDonald's and high-speed internet. Take that, Cavemen... 

That’s okay though, we just need to find a way to utilise these functions to be more productive in a modern landscape instead.

Dopamine can be triggered by small wins. The small hit of Dopamine is very rewarding for our brains and it will cause us to seek out a repeat of the rush in the form of another accomplishment. 

I would recommend breaking down the day into small manageable chunks. Otherwise, it may feel overwhelming and may provoke your brain into metaphorically running away. Preferring instead to relapse into procrastination until its heart's content. 

By completing lots of smaller wins during the day we can raid Dopamine, feel good about ourselves and create motivation for the next thing we have to accomplish!

What next? 

I’ve previously been introduced with the concept of Ninja time. 

Ninja time is a phrase to describe everybody's time of most productivity. Everybody has a natural rhythm. A natural time of the day when they are more productive; with higher energy. 

Similarly, everybody has a part of the day where they tend to lag behind. This is where we get the expression ‘afternoon slump’ 

This is a natural consequence of our circadian rhythm with people becoming sluggish between 1pm and 3pm. 

A totally natural phenomenon. 

These two facts are vital in managing ourselves and our time. To play to our strengths and hack productivity, we must plan our day around these bursts of energy. 

How would this manifest in planning a working day? 

I’ll speak for myself, It’s the only real authentic account I have. 

Naturally, my Ninja time occurs for the first three hours after waking. I’m not sure why. I’m just naturally zippy in these moments. On the other hand, I flatline between 1pm to 3pm. The afternoon slump is real! 

I plan my day to accomplish the majority of my tasks in the morning. Certainly, the ones that require the most attention and effort. This way I have hacked my moments of productivity; by accomplishing tasks, I have also hacked my Dopamine supplies! (see how it all ties together?)

Finally, we hack self-esteem.

We spend so much time focusing on what we’re not good at.

It’s a deep rooted societal issue. We spend so much time being told to be better. Comparing ourselves to others excelling at things we’re not good at, but constantly feeling like we should be better at those things anyway.

The way to really maximise potential is simply a shift in mindset, focusing instead on what we’re best at and doing more of it! 

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