The Zeigarnik Effect "shows that when we don't finish a task, we experience discomfort and elusive thoughts because of it." As humans, we cope with this "discomfort" by either escaping into a mode of complacency or taking action. As a nootropic user, the latter interests me much more. So if you're looking to change the world, take it one step at a time. Your brain and body will thank you.
During my time in college, the balance between work, school, and training became a daunting task. Despite constantly being active, the induced stress of this lifestyle ultimately led to unhealthy habits like ingesting exorbitant amounts of caffeine or managing unreasonable sleep cycles. Yet, in my search for maximizing efficiency and productivity, I found nootropics (namely piracetam, modafinil, and vasopressin), and in the end, I found peace using caffeine and L-theanine combined with a few drastic changes in lifestyle.
Naturally, taking a few compounds doesn't lead to a better lifestyle. Healthy sleep schedules, diet, and exercise all contribute to a healthy brain, but there's a few things you can do now to increase your productivity.
Start it. Now.
In AsapScience's video, he states that "willpower is an exhaustible source that can be used up" and the best way to deal with ego depletion is to simply "get started". Nootropics are fascinating because they provide that initial boost of motivation while helping maintain the high levels of productivity that needs to follow. If you want the most control over your mind, don't overload yourself with artificial energy. Supplement healthy eating and breaks with your nootropic stacks to maximize your willpower. Speaking of which...
Find the equilibrium between work and breaks.
Inc.com says that "long hours have a cumulative effect on your productivity. Working for 11 or more hours a day more than doubles the risk of depression and a loss in cognitive function." So beyond simply getting started, a good daily routine should be set, where larger goals are broken up into digestible packets. The Pomodoro cycle is a fantastic way to break up your work day into manageable chunks, and our new caffeine plan helps maximize the effects you get from that aforementioned boost you get with nootropics.
If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do.
Create a deadline. Don't succumb to Parkinson's law, which plays on the principle that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Strategic planning helps concentrate your focus into the tasks at hand, and complete what's necessary in the timeframe you assign it. Still feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done? Use the Pareto principle to tackle the most critical 20% and start dealing with the other 80% later.
Finally, trust in yourself.
I always keep a notebook in hand to write any stray thoughts that may come up in regards to business or creativity. It helps differentiate my own ideas with the information that floods into my head every day, and even when I'm drowning in a crazy schedule, my thoughts remain intimately related to me and only me. With so much the current world offers us, its easy to get lost in our search for an uber-productive lifestyle.
As is Bill Murray's mantra in What About Bob?, its all about those baby steps.