If you want to be more productive, you’ll want to increase the amount of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (chemical) that produces motivation and strong feelings of pleasurable anticipation. When we are looking forward to something good that is going to happen or get what we consider to be a reward, of some kind, the brain releases dopamine.
When dopamine is high, we process incoming information more quickly. It’s easier for us to change and adapt to new things. Dopamine makes us feel happy so we’re more pleasant and optimistic. The bigger reward we are looking forward to, the greater the brain activity. This is why setting small, obtainable goals, works. Hit a goal, get a quick shot of dopamine. Anticipate getting to your desired outcome, or deeply significant big reward, and just the anticipation can increase dopamine.
Here are some ways to be more productive by utilizing the levels of dopamine in your brain:
- Set your desired outcome and know why you want to achieve it. The more clear you are about what you want and why you want it for yourself, your company, your team, or your community, the more dopamine it will release when you think about it. The dopamine can be helpful to get you or your team through the tough tasks.
- Set small, obtainable goals that you and your team can hit quickly. The brain likes to know it’s on the right track. Setting an intention and then reaching successful milestones quickly is something that will trigger dopamine to be released.
- Exercise. The brain loves it when you exercise. Be sure to define exercise in a way that is completely achievable. Think in terms of 5 and 10 minutes. When it comes to brain health and getting that dopamine release, you don’t have to go to the gym for an hour to get a dose of it. It’s more about consistency than it is about large volumes of it.
- Create a playlist of music that you love. Have two or three songs you can quickly access and listen to that you enjoy. Songs are about 3-4 minutes each, on average. Put some headphones on, start the music, and take a quick walk around the office or block to get that dopamine kicking in.
- Meditate. Finding ways to power down your brain and wipe your mental slate clean. Peacefully reflect on your day, pray, or simply get quiet and concentrate on your breathing for a couple of minutes. The more you meditate, even if only for a few minutes at a time, the easier it will be to get into a relaxed and pleasant state of mind, regardless of the circumstance.
One of my favorite dopamine injectors is dark chocolate. Not a whole bar of it or anything like that. Just a small piece is all it takes.
Want to know some more brain rules, click here.