Avoiding Mental Energy Suckers: The Secrets of Super Productivity

With Shea MyskiEP 180

You’ve probably heard this one before: you’re an executive with employees who constantly need your time and attention, but you also have hours of work that you need to finish as soon as possible, and the emails keep coming in, and the phone calls never stop and… by the end of the day, you feel like you actually accomplished a fraction of what needed to get done. How can you escape the trap and start being super productive?

Productivity Coach Shea Myski has seen this over and over, and is ready to share some of his biggest secrets of real productivity while saving time and mental energy. Listen in as he and Meny talk about the “Mental Energy Suckers” of choice, noise, and change, including lots of tips about how small changes can lead to big results. So if you’re ready to increase your productivity, the place to start is by cleaning your desk (yes) and listening to this enlightening conversation.


[00:01 – 09:27] Understanding Mental Energy Suckers

Identifying three main mental energy suckers: choice, noise, and change
Strategies to minimize decision fatigue
The impact of physical and mental noise on productivity


[09:28 – 18:52] Customizing Productivity Techniques

The fallacy of one-size-fits-all productivity methods
Tailoring productivity approaches to individual work styles and preferences
The importance of maintaining a clear and focused mindset throughout the workday


[18:53 – 27:17] Effective Time Management

Balancing meeting schedules and workloads
Techniques for managing emails and other routine tasks efficiently
Utilizing breaks and downtime to rejuvenate mental energy


[27:18 – 36:41] Optimizing To-Do Lists

Creating realistic and achievable to-do lists
Distinguishing between must-dos and wish-list items
The psychological impact of an organized task list


[36:42 – 44:48] Creating a Productive Work Environment

The significance of a clutter-free workspace
Strategies for setting up an office layout conducive to productivity
Balancing open and closed working spaces

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Practical Pointers
Remember that the three “mental energy suckers” are choice, noise, and change. Choice means making decisions, noise is any distraction, and change is any change during your day - doing a different task or even talking to a different person. By being cognizant of what these mental energy suckers are, you can find ways to minimize them and their impact.
Every time you change your mindset, your brain loses energy. So if you have a ten or fifteen minute break in between meetings, you’re probably better off just relaxing or playing a game, rather than trying to use that time to get work done. If, for example, you use the break to do office work, the change in mindset will sap your energy, and you’ll end up losing far more time than the fifteen minutes that you could have allowed yourself to relax. The main point is to avoid switching to a completely different type of task, then switching back; by doing something similar to what you were doing before, or by simply relaxing, you avoid the mental change that drains your mental energy.
“To Do” lists should never be a motivator. If it is unlikely that you will finish everything on the list, you are creating subconscious mental noise that will suck your mental energy. The best solution is to cut things out of your “to do” list so that you can be reasonably certain that you will be able to finish everything by the end of the day. Consider writing a wish list alongside your “to do” list; once you finish the mandatory tasks, no one is stopping you from tackling the projects on your wish list… but because it’s no longer mandatory, the distracting mental noise will get much lower.
A quiet brain is a productive brain; and a quiet brain requires a clean desk and an uncluttered office. Having sticky notes everywhere, or things not directly related to the task at hand, only serves to add noise to your mind. As simple as it sounds, getting rid of the clutter is a real prerequisite for getting things done.
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Guest Bio
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Shea Myski

Shea Myski is a productivity coach who has spent the past six years helping executives avoid the everyday noise that sucks away their mental energy. He has worked as a CFO and as an office manager, and uses his personal experiences and his understanding of human psychology to help people save time while accomplishing everything they set out to do.

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