Following Tougher Minds’ engaging webinar on ‘Working from home: 10 rules for well-being, productivity and success’, Nexus member and founder of performance, well-being and change management consultancy Tougher Minds, Dr Jon Finn, shares his insights on how to be healthier, happier and at your best when working from home during these challenging times.
As those of us who are able to work from home, adjust to the challenges of remote working during the current public health crisis, being motivated, efficient and feeling well is more important than ever. Here Dr Jon Finn shares his 10 easy-to implement rules to follow, based on the best neuroscience, behavioural science, psychology and Tougher Minds’ unique and award-winning programmes:
1 – ‘Use behavioural science to help you succeed’ – Behavioural science tells us that we need regular reminders (or triggers), so try modifying your home environment to give you these. For example, set up short morning and afternoon planning and reflection video meetings with your team to keep everyone connected and focused.
2 – ‘Big goals boost motivation’ – Big goals boost our motivation by driving our short-term behaviour. If you want to be a chief executive in five years-time, you should align your medium / short-term goals, so what you do today supports your long-term development. You’ll also be able to see your immediate progress and stay motivated.
3 – ‘Self-watch your habits (helpful v unhelpful)’ – Intelligently self-watch your daily habits, so that you can build more helpful habits for working from home (and recognise unhelpful habits). For example, take the free A.P.E. Brain Test to learn more about your most unhelpful habits.
4 – ‘Work hard on your sleep’– Sleep is vitally important. It’s a prerequisite of good health and personal performance. Lack of sleep stops the brain clearing out unhelpful toxins that damage short and long-term health.
5 – ‘Get smarter by exercising’ – exercise breaks can release hormones to improve brain function. Plan to take regular activity breaks – within the current Government guidelines, of course – and experience the well-being and performance benefits.
6 – ‘Fuel your brain for happiness and success’ – a healthy diet is key to brain function. Use a search engine to find foods that you like which are ‘complex carbohydrates’, ‘rich in Omega 3’ and ‘rich in antioxidants’ to fuel your brain for happiness and success.
7 – ‘Create a Will Power Story’ – use daily Will Power stories as an immediate motivational and habit building tool to help you get more done every day. The brain has high, medium and low charge states, like a battery. Plan to match your brain states to different types of work. This will improve your effectiveness.
8 – ‘Save time by planning to refocus’ – Learn how to focus and get more work done. We only have a finite amount of focused brain power in any one day. By developing a plan you will use it more efficiently and re-focus faster when your attention wanders. Create mental images and use self-talk to help manage your thoughts.
9 – ‘Tame your brain and recharge’ – The importance of recharging your brain, and how you can do it at regular intervals throughout the day is key. The ‘attention economy’ means that it is easier than ever to be always on. Plan to ‘switch off ’ for short periods throughout the day and you will feel better.
10 – ‘Write, re-frame, relax’ – reduce stress, build confidence and finish the day well, so that you can relax and let your brain recharge. At the end of every day try a positively weighted reflection exercise. Write down what went well and then what you can do better – but remember, we’re all navigating our way through unprecedented challenges currently: allow yourself time to reflect and adjust.
Dr Jon Finn has worked in the fields of well-being, performance psychology and Transformational Leadership for nearly 20 years. He founded Tougher Minds to make it easier for people to build better habits for well-being and performance.