Tuesday Takeaway 2 April: Beat the ‘brain drain’

We’re all back from the Easter break and hoping to hold onto that blissful, well-rested feeling, right? But we know how it goes. One day back in our routines and it’s all gone. Well, I’ve got the goods on beating the brain drain!

Fact: you can actually trick your brain into feeling less tired by playing around with how you set your goals.

Most of us love nothing more than ticking tasks off our to-do lists. But new research shows our focus shouldn’t be on completing as many tasks/goals as possible. Instead, we should be setting goals that get tougher over time.

It’s like levelling up in a game; the more challenging it gets, the more engaged you stay – and the more obstacles you overcome, the more motivated you feel!

This effective goal-setting approach was recently explored in various studies conducted by the brains of the psych departments at the universities of Texas and Oregon.

The first study involved 108 students responding to visual cues, with half of the group aiming for a specific reaction time and the other half responding at their leisure. The time-conscious bunch showed better consistency than those who weren’t worried about the clock – but they didn’t necessarily react faster or remain more focused as the task went on.

The sequel study featured 112 fresh participants and escalating goals (as opposed to static ones). The results showed significantly quicker reaction times, less mind-wandering, and steady performance throughout. No brain drain in sight!

So, how can we translate these findings into our everyday lives to make the daily grind less grinding?

Tuesday Takeaway 2 April: Beat the ‘brain drain’ 1
  1. Task breakdown: Rather than staring down a massive project, chop it up. Set specific, escalating targets for each bit. Instead of just ‘nailing that report,’ try ‘outline by 11 am,’ ‘intro done by 1 pm,’ and ‘first section wrapped up by 3 pm’.
  2. Dynamic goals: If you’re smashing through tasks, try setting tighter deadlines/higher standards the next time you tackle anything similar, and see how much beating your own personal best can motivate you.
  3. Upskill: Look for opportunities to learn new skills or enrich existing ones to empower you to confidently tackle your escalating goals.
  4. Big-picture thinking: Goals shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. Increase motivation by connecting your smaller task goals to the bigger picture and how they contribute to overall project success and your professional development.

It certainly seems that constantly ramping up the challenge could be the secret sauce to kicking mental fatigue to the curb. Here’s to turning our to-dos into a series of ever-escalating targets and keeping our brains on their toes!

Mindful Musings

Tuesday Takeaway 2 April: Beat the ‘brain drain’ 2

What the world was musing over this past week

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New VR wine tasting at Africa’s Travel Indaba

For the first time at this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba (13 – 16 May), lucky visitors (by invitation only) will participate in a unique, immersive VR wine tasting experience, hosted in the DOME.

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The Jonsson Workwear Luxe Travel Award winners

South Africans have chosen their favourite luxury travel providers for the inaugural Jonsson Workwear Luxe Travel Awards. Check out which properties/providers came out on top, from wine estates and spas to game lodges, guesthouses, and hotels.

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The world’s best-loved airports

Which airports around the world do passengers love the most? The Airports Council International surveyed travellers – over 600 000 of them – and the results are in!

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‘Just-rolled-out-of-bed’ is the new ‘office chic’

Chinese Gen-Zers are saying ‘no’ to suits and ‘yes’ to sleepwear, setting a new, ultra-comfy office fashion trend.