3X Focus, Exaptation, Emotional Control & Getting Into The Flow State (1)

The newsletter which curates & delivers the best mind hacks, mental health tips & high performance strategies to you every single week.

🧠 MIND HACK

‘Focus Blocks’ (Or… Get 3X More Done In The Same Amount Of Time)

One of the best ways to eradicate distraction, improve focus & get more done — making this one of the best 'productivity hacks' out there — are what are known as 'focus blocks' (or 'block time').

What you do is you pick a specific task or project to work on, remove all distractions beforehand, set a timer & only work on this 1 task for that period of time...

Once (& only once) the timer ends & you're out of the 'focus block' you can reengage with the world around you...

(think of it like a meeting you're setting with yourself, to complete one specific task, project, or goal, free from interruption.)

Regarding how much time you should set, this is a topic of much debate...

One popular application of this 'focus blocks' strategy for example is what's become known as the 'Pomodoro Method.'

Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, this technique involves dedicating focused study time for 25-minute blocks (called 'Pomodoro Blocks') followed by a 5 minute break between blocks.

Another example are what are known as 'Jam Sessions', which are longer 90 minute blocks of time...

(based on the idea that many of the systems in our body follow not 60, but 90 minute cycles & we can align with that.)

Generally, the longer the time, the better... although there is a limit as your brain needs to take breaks to function optimally as well.

Also, you don't want to start with very long periods of time right away… rather, you want to train your way up to it.

The key is to create these times (like meetings with yourself) where interruption or even other tasks that are not the 1 that you're focused on right now, cannot enter distract you.

Schedule your first (or next) 'focus block' today 😎 

💡 CREATIVITY HACK

‘Exaptation’ (Or… The Overlooked Approach For Coming Up With Brilliant Ideas & Creative Solutions With Ease)

Want to be more creative? Well, here's a great 'creativity hack' you can use to start doing exactly that in your work & life...

In 1971, the world of evolutionary biology introduced us to the term "exaptation." 

The term was initially defined as:

"the process by which features acquire functions for which they were not originally adapted or selected."

Fast forward to more recent times & we see this concept migrating from biology to creativity, thanks to thought-provoking works like "Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History Of Innovation" by Steven Johnson.

Here, "exaptation" (today's 'creativity hack') starts to take on a broader meaning — it becomes about drawing inspiration from diverse fields & applying those insights to your own work...

(like borrowing ideas from one playground & bringing them to another to create something entirely new).

To explain, let's look at some real-world examples to illustrate how exaptation has shaped groundbreaking innovations:

  1. James Dyson's Vacuum Cleaner: Dyson revolutionized the vacuum cleaner industry by taking inspiration from industrial cyclones used in sawmills. He applied this concept to create a bagless vacuum cleaner, forever changing how we clean our homes.

  2. Gamification: Think about language learning apps and fitness trackers. They borrowed elements from gaming, like the use of points, badges & streaks to keep users engaged & applies those same ideas to a completely different fields like education (language learning), meditation, exercise, etc. This fusion of entertainment & education is a classic example of exaptation.

  3. Steve Jobs' Approach: The late Apple co-founder wasn't just about computers; he drew inspiration from diverse sources like Zen Buddhism & calligraphy. These influences shaped Apple's emphasis on design and aesthetics, creating a unique brand identity that remains to this day.

  4. NASA's Origami-Inspired Solutions: NASA scientists turned to origami to solve space exploration challenges. By studying the folding patterns of origami, they developed deployable solar panels, antenna arrays, and robotic arms. This cross-disciplinary approach led to efficient space solutions.

Here's the framework:

Exaptation: looking at how you can apply elements of other fields, discoveries, innovations, etc into your own.

The question for you is... how can you start applying this as a 'creativity hack' today?

Take the creative challenge you're looking to solve & start to explore completely different fields, asking yourself...

"How can this be applied to my creative challenge?"

Also be sure to venture out of your field for novel inputs that can inspire you in this way…

This way of thinking will cause you to come up with a lot more & a lot more diverse (which is what 'creativity' really is) ideas & solutions!

Stay curious, be creative & keep growing!

If you’d like to learn more about creativity & how to unleash yours, check out the complete Potencia creativity course, titled:

▶️ RECOMMENDED VIDEO

Getting Into The ‘Flow State’

In one of the other most popular TedTalks of all time, one of the world's greatest researchers & psychologists, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, talks about the 'flow state'...

If you're not familiar, the 'flow state' is a state in which we feel our best & perform our best... shown to produce radical improvements in creativity, decision-making, learning & productivity!

Learn more about the flow state here:

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▶️ QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Mark Twain

🎓 FEATURED COURSE

Would you like to learn how to develop true emotional control & be able to change how you feel on command?

For example, learning how to replace fear with confidence & courage...

Or, how to convert any stress or anxiety you experience into deep states of calm, relaxation & bliss...

Or, to transform tiredness or laziness into high energy, motivation & inspiration...

(all in mere minutes… or often, less than 60 seconds?)

If so, you'll love this in-depth training course, called:

Here's just a fraction of what you'll learn in this new course:

  • The 3 basic steps your brain & body follow to 'construct' each & every one of the emotions you experience each & every day... (including: how to consciously intercept this process to change how you feel on command!)

  • You'll also learn the #1 biological hack for dissolving any anxiety, nervousness, or fear you may be experiencing...

  • The 'backwards law' which goes again everything we're been told about self-discipline, explains why resisting & fighting can often backfire & illustrates how surrendering to your emotions can sometimes be the very best approach... (note: when I first learned about this, I protested & resisted this change like crazy... but today, I know better, I use this & have never looked back!)

  • How to convert fear or anxiety into curiosity & excitement, in mere seconds... using a strategy known as 'Cognitive Re-Framing'... (based on a fascinating Harvard University research that goes completely against everything we've been previously taught to believe about anxiety!)

  • Nervous System Controllability — You'll learn the 5 core parts of your nervous system which you have the most conscious control over... (plus: how to use these as levers for your own experience to further change how you feel, virtually on command)

  • Breathing, Heart Rate & Temperature — you'll learn how to use these 3 core indicators of physiological arousal to summon either high alertness, energy & motivation... or, deep states of calm, relaxation & bliss... depending on what you'd prefer at the time!

  • The 4 'focus shifts' you can make to almost-instantly boost your self-confidence... (including: one of my all-time favourite ways to tune into a strong feeling of self-confidence before a big speech, presentation, an important meeting, etc!)

  • The 1 strategy that turned a salesman afraid of making sales calls into one earning $500,000 a year in commissions... (note: it takes just minutes to implement!)

  • The #1 practice shown to boost dopamine (your 'motivation molecule') by 250%... & increase norepinephrine ('your energy molecule') by a shocking 530%... radically boosting your alertness & giving you a flood of energy instantly after doing it!

  • 1 simple 'mental reframe' that can instantly melt away almost any stress or anxiety you may be experiencing (as famously used by the great Stoic philosophers throughout history!)

  • Chronobiology secrets — How to use sight (light, size, distance, direction), sound (volume, tempo, pitch, etc), as well as touch, taste & smell... to overcome fatigue, get rid of brain fog, boost focus & radically increase your energy levels during the day...

  • The 1 activity scientifically proven to reduce stress levels by 50% in just 6 minutes... (& the best times of the day to use this practice!)

  • The 3 core components that make up our 'environment', which also explains why we feel how we feel & do what we do... (note: this is must-know information for anyone on the journey of personal growth, self-help & success!)

  • How the information that you consume affects how you feel both in the short-term & in the long-term... (including: specific 'mental detoxes' that you can deploy to get rid of harmful programming, feel better & start creating the life you truly desire & deserve!)

And a whole lot more...

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