Neuroscience could just sort your lousy morning out

Do you ever wake up and feel blah about the morning because you have just too much to do and don’t know where to start? Does a new day seem like a road that leads to nowhere even though your to-do list is full? Sometimes, when I have these mornings, I tend to concentrate on the most ludicrous instead of getting on with the jobs at hand.

Oscar Wilde captured the mood of these moments brilliantly when he said, “I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon, I put it back again.” That comma, right there, could be a metaphor in all our lives for the one thing that we procrastinate on in the mornings despite having deadlines and work to deliver.

To utilize your mornings effectively so that you wake up seeing the day ahead as a road of endless possibilities turning to neuroscience could be the answer. According to this article, the solutions are to be found in increasing Dopamine levels in your brain; working on your hardest tasks first thing in the morning; list-making of tasks; using bullet points in written information; writing things down rather than using a computer; and good old-fashioned exercise.

The point of these solutions is to increase the bandwidth of your brainpower. The brain, apparently, has an ‘attention filter’ that helps marshal the information which we see and hear into patterns. These patterns, in turn, help us to work out what our priorities are and where our energies ought to be most concentrated.

So try one, try all six as I will be to zap up those dreary morning thoughts which assail us all, especially during the cold winter months. I woke up this morning and wrote out a task list. It worked for me.

Read more about midlife living on my new blog – A Midlifer in London


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