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With the right mindset, you can achieve anything. Over the years, we’ve interviewed and discussed the powerful principle of mindset with people dedicated to opening the door of possibility for everyone. In honor of International Women’s Day, we want to focus on some amazing women and their stories of perseverance and success.

The first National Women’s Day was held in New York City on February 28, 1909. It took another decade for women to win the right to vote in the United States. Even then, only a few countries celebrated Women’s Day until 1977 when the United Nations adopted it as a globally recognized holiday. It took dedication, focus, and determination to make today possible.

Women continue to champion for a better world in all aspects of life. These six books written by incredible women will help you unlock your limitless potential by helping you change your mindset.

Miracle Mindset: A Mother, Her Son, and Life’s Hardest Lessons by JJ Virgin (republished as Warrior Mom: 7 Secrets to Bold, Brave Resilience)

Sometimes the most powerful lessons are the hardest. JJ Virgin learned that lesson when she sat in a hospital room with her then sixteen-year-old son. He had been in a hit-and-run accident and doctor’s didn’t think he would survive the night. She refused to give up and had to find the mental fortitude to face the biggest and hardest challenge of her life. In a straightforward manner, Virgin shares her story and the lessons that carried her through.

Miracle Mindset is a powerful story of perseverance and mindset. By changing your daily habits, you can make the impossible possible. Virgin writes the lessons she’s learned in a way that anyone going through a difficult time can relate to. No matter what situation you’re in, you have personal power and purpose. It’s just a matter of overcoming your limitations to find them.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

Mindset matters. It affects every area of your life. No one understands how pivotal mindset is like Dr. Carol Dweck. Through decades of research she’s unlocked how mindset influences your perception of your talents and abilities. When you change your mindset, you become capable of achieving almost anything.

Do you have a growth mindset? Or have you fallen into the trap of developing a false growth mindset? How does a fixed mindset truly hold you back? The answer to these questions and more can help unlock your motivation so you can transform your life. Mindset walks you through not only how to apply this change in thinking to yourself, but to your business, your relationships, how you parent, and how you train. Once you learn how to see what is possible, the world becomes limitless.

Imagine it Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change by Beth Comstock

The only guarantee in life is change. So, how do you move forward in the face of uncertainty? Beth Comstock has dedicated her career to this very question. The world will never move slower than it does now. Learning how to adapt to constant disruption is vital in this ever-changing landscape.

Comstock shares her experience navigating change over the course of her thirty year career. She’s learned the problem with growth isn’t lack of ideas or knowledge. It’s fear, doubt, and holding onto what you think you know. Through her own experience, Imagine it Forward helps you identify practical ways to become a forward-thinker and creative problem-solver to overcome any obstacle in your life.

Believe It: How to Go from Underestimated to Unstoppable by Jamie Kern Lima

Have you ever felt underestimated? Or let other people’s criticisms of you, your goals, or your dreams make you question everything? Jamie Kern Lima knows exactly what that feels like. She was once a struggling waitress told that no one would ever buy make up from someone with her body type. And yet she turned her brand into an international sensation, selling her company for over billion dollars, and becoming the first female CEO for a brand under L’Oréal’s umbrella.

Jamie almost didn’t make it. She had to develop monumental resilience. But when she did, she stopped being underestimated and become unstoppable. Through relatable, sometimes heartbreaking, often powerful stories from her life, Believe It shows you that you have what it takes to achieve anything and how to stop listening to anyone who says otherwise.

The High-5 Habit: Take Control of Your Life with One Simple Habit by Mel Robbins

Mel Robbins knows how to tap into your motivation. But before you can reach your goals, you have to believe in yourself first. When was the last time you cheered for yourself? It’s probably been a long time. You may not realize how critical your inner thoughts are. And how much those thoughts stop you from reaching your goals.

You are the most important person in your life. But when was the past time you treated yourself as a priority. It’s time to silence the critic, let go of self-doubt, change your focus, and get the results you deserve. Packed with science-back methods, deeply personal stories, and actual results, The High-Five Habit teaches you how to truly believe in yourself through one simple yet effective habit.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

What differentiates people who succeed versus those who don’t? Why can some people seem to overcome anything while others give up in the face of adversity? Angela Duckworth had a theory. She believed it all came down to one thing: grit.

Success doesn’t happen without failure. But how you pick yourself back up and move forward is what matters. Through insightful interviews, hands-on experiments, and historical examples, Grit explains exactly what that special blend of perseverance and passion is, and what it can do. Go beyond talent and learn how to change your life to reach your dreams.


When it comes to achieving your goals, mindset matters. You’re going to face obstacles, and sometimes you’ll fail. Success doesn’t come from talent or luck. It takes focus and motivation. But most importantly, it takes the right mindset. We hope these six books will help you unlock your limitless potential by showing you how to change your mindset no matter what stands in your way.

If you want to learn how to develop a champion’s mindset, watch this episode:


One of the most important skills you can develop to improve your productivity, creativity, and relationships is active listening. And science agrees.

Active listening is the art of really hearing what someone is saying. Truly listening to someone is not just nodding along and waiting for your turn to speak. It’s about fully engaging with the person in front of you by showing them you care about what they’re saying. Research has shown that when you actively listen to someone, you activate several areas of the brain.

One study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley found that when participants listened to a speaker recount a personal story, their brain activity synchronized with the speaker. This means that the listener’s brain was processing the story in a way that mirrored the speaker’s brain. Researchers believe that synchronization promotes empathy and understanding in people.

How can you improve your active listening skills? Here are a few tips, backed by research.

Pay Attention

You can’t listen if you aren’t paying attention. This might seem obvious, but actively paying attention is harder than it sounds. You live in a world of distractions. The pings and dings from social media, texts, emails, and more are constantly disrupting your focus and drawing your attention away. To be an active listener, you want to tune out all those distractions and focus on the person in front of you.

Research shows that when you pay attention to someone, you activate the prefrontal cortex of your brain, the area responsible for decision-making, attention, and other complex cognitive behaviors. This strengthens these areas, improving not only your communication skills, but your focus, concentration, problem-solving, and more.

One way to strengthen your attention is by practicing mindfulness. Take a few deep breaths and clear your mind of everything except what you want to focus on. This takes a lot of practice, so you want to do this throughout the day. Try things like turning off your phone, silencing your notifications, and simply be present. You can also practice mindfulness through daily meditation and journaling. The more you’re able to stay in the moment, the better you’ll be at active listening.

Show Your Interest

Active listening isn’t just hearing what someone is saying. It’s being an active participant in the conversation. You can show you’re invested in what they’re saying through nonverbal cues like nodding, making eye contact, and leaning in when throughout the conversation.

Research shows that when you use nonverbal cues to signal your engagement in a discussion, the speaker is more likely to feel understood and validated. A Japanese study found that individuals who believed someone was actively listening to them had their reward system activated. They were more likely to view the conversation as positive and they were more likely to actively listen in return. This led to more productive and meaningful conversations.

You can practice repeating what they said to show that you understand. For example, if someone says, “I’m really struggling with this project at work,” you could respond with, “It sounds like you’re feeling overwhelmed with your workload right now.” Paraphrasing helps avoid misunderstandings and reassures the person talking that you are engaged in what they are saying.

Don’t Interrupt

This is big. Most people lock onto a point and wait for their turn to speak. And interrupting someone is a surefire way to show you’re not really listening to them. Even if you think you know what they’re going to say, let them finish their thought before jumping in.

Research has shown that when you interrupt someone, you activate the amygdala, the part of your brain responsible for fight-or-flight responses. This is referred to as having your amygdala hijacked because the abrupt interjection sends an alarm through the brain and triggers an emotional response. But when you allow someone to speak uninterrupted, you activate the prefrontal cortex, which promotes cognitive and emotional regulation.

If you need to interject, try using phrases like “Can I jump in for a moment?” or “I’d like to add something to that.” This shows that you’re respectful of their time and their thoughts.

Ask Questions

Asking questions is a great way to show you’re engaged in the conversation. It also helps to clarify any misunderstandings and encourages the other person to keep talking. Try asking open-ended questions that encourage the other person to share more. For example, if you’re discussing a project at work that they’re struggling with ask, “Why do you think [insert their obstacle] is such a challenge right now?” or “Can you tell me a bit more about [the obstacle]?”

Asking questions helps you better understand and retain information. Studies show that when you ask questions, you engage the hippocampus, the part of your brain responsible for memory and learning. It helps solidify the information, which can be helpful if the conversation is more technical or complicated. By clarifying key elements of the discussion, you reassure the person talking that you understand the topic and it helps you remember the details better. 

Summarize the Conversation

At the end of the conversation, take a moment to summarize what you discussed. You don’t want to list the bullet points of the conversation. That’s a good way of making the entire discussion feel like a business transaction. Instead, paraphrase any agreements you both made, or points for follow-up. This can take some practice to come across naturally, but it’s worthwhile.

Summarizing information activates the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This area handles cognitive functions like working memory and learning. Repetition helps embed information in your brain, and when you repeat something in your own words, you’re even more likely to retain it. Even if there aren’t any action steps to take, the next time you see that person, you can ask about the conversation, which will clearly show them not only that you were listening, but that they were important enough to remember.


Active listening is a crucial skill for effective communication. It builds better relationships by strengthening the areas of your brain that promote empathy and understanding. But it also improves your memory, cognitive functionality, and emotional regulation. Becoming a better listener takes practice, but it’s a skill that will take you far in both business and life.

For more tips on how to be a better active listener, watch this video:


It’s common to think setting the goal is the key to beat procrastination, but that can lead to frustration and demotivation. Before you set your productivity goals, you should first stop anything that’s making you procrastinate.

Procrastination is one of the biggest obstacles to getting things done and it can cause some serious damage once it becomes a constant. Whenever you give into that voice in your head telling you why now is not the right time to complete a certain task, you build your procrastination muscles. No matter what you end up doing instead, even if it’s productive in a different way, reinforces your habit of putting certain tasks off. It’s easy to listen to, and often the things you end up doing aren’t the things you need to do to reach your goals.

Here are five things to help you figure out why you’re procrastinating and how to beat it.


On the surface, analyzing why you’re procrastinating is easy: you don’t want to do the task. But why? There’s a deeper reason behind this bad habit and if you don’t uncover it, you risk ruining your productivity. The sooner find your why, the faster you can take action and become more productive.

Maybe it’s fear of failure. You might imagine only worst-case scenarios every time you start the task. Or you might not know where to start or how long it might take to reach your goal. Or maybe the idea of being less than perfect stresses you out to the point of paralysis. But even these can be surface level reasons.

There’s a fallacy among higher performers that they function better under pressure. You might put off projects until the last moment, often staying up all night to complete a project. You achieved your goal, but that doesn’t mean that you weren’t procrastinating. And finishing at the last minute can have its own downfalls that potentially hold you back.

Another type of productive procrastination is taking on too much at one time. Busy is not productive and can actually keep you from achieving your goals. When you’re overloaded, you might put tasks off because you agreed to do other, less important tasks instead. This can lead to you becoming overwhelmed and exhausted.

Finally, you might procrastinate because your goals aren’t clear. Do shiny new ideas take precedence over the one you’re currently working on? Do you reach a certain point in a project and just get bored? There are a lot of reasons that might happen, including ADD, stress, or fear. But this can also happen when you’re unclear on what you want to achieve and why.

Once you know the why, you can start working on solutions to beat procrastination once and for all.


Understanding why you’re procrastinating gives you the knowledge to implement a plan. You can deal with your fear of failure by shifting your mindset. Start by breaking each task into the smallest, simplest step and only focusing on that task. Whenever you feel fear and doubt creeping in, remind yourself why you want to achieve your goal. It might help to make a vision board with various images you associate with success in reaching your goal.

One of the biggest ways to tackle fear is welcoming failure. You’ll never know how things turn out unless you try, so change your perspective on failure. Instead of failing to achieve a task, define failure might as not doing the task. Even if you don’t complete it, take time to analyze why and what you learned. The more awareness you develop, the more tools you’ll unlock for the next project.

If the bigger picture scares you, take your time to write a detailed plan on what to do exactly to complete your project. You might make a chart so you can track your wins and progress. Crossing items off a list can be very motivating and an easy way to build momentum, which are both effective in eliminating procrastination. It takes the project out of feeling too big to wrap your arms around and makes it feel manageable.

Understand your goal with crystal clarity and anytime you want to do a task, ask yourself how that task affects your goals. If it interferes, distracts, or even sets your back, put it at the bottom of your priority pile. Practice saying no and be protective of your time. To beat procrastination, you have to always have a clear vision of your goal and stay focused on it, no matter what.


As you work through this process, you’re going to have reactions. If you say no to extra tasks, you might experience fear. If you get specific about every tiny step to reach your goal, you might feel stressed. Awareness is always key when trying to break a habit and replace it with a new behavior. Noticing how you feel is a big part of this.

You might not notice these emotions or reactions until you’re already procrastinating. That’s okay and part of the process. Take the time to evaluate how you felt before you picked up your phone. You might find that you’re pushing yourself too hard, and need to take more breaks. Or that you’re taking on more that you have time for without risking burnout.

Anytime you focus on the unknown, your brain redirects you to a safe task. The more stress or fear that’s triggered, the harder it is to stay on track. Make sure you allow time to meditate and regroup, where you can sit with your emotions and sort them out. You might want to keep a journal to help you analyze these emotions and keep track of your progress. Make sure to note how you felt throughout the day, capturing before and after both activities and procrastination events.

The more you are aware of your reactions, the better you’ll get at recognizing when procrastination is trying to take over. That’s a big step in the right direction as it helps you come back to the present moment and say ‘no’ to it.


You want to make everything as easy as possible. This involves planning, but also preparation. You have your plan, now you put the pieces in place to get it done.

Some of this can include building your calendar with all of your tasks scheduled in time-allotments. Set alarms so you know when to start and set a specific time to stop. If you need notecards, pens, highlighters, exercise equipment, cleaning supplies—whatever items you need for that task, make sure you have them ready to go when your alarm goes off.

You might need to set deadlines to help engage your brain in work mode, but make sure that they account for time to check your work. Having deadlines for each individual task can create a sense of urgency that motivates you to start. And these multiple deadlines can help you feel momentum in achieving a series of tasks rather than one big deadline for one big project.

Stay organized. Whether that’s your task chart, a series of to-do lists, a project management tool, notecards and post-it notes, or a planner. You want to know exactly what each day brings before you get started in the morning, and what tasks you need to prepare for the night before.

When you free your mind from trying to assess what needs to be done and how, you don’t give yourself time to succumb to stress and worry. It helps you focus on the single task in front of you rather than trying to figure out what to do next. The more prepared you are, the easier each step becomes. You’ll beat procrastination and find yourself accomplishing more in less time.


Motivation and momentum are tied to your reward system. When you finish a task, you feel a sense of accomplishment, and this releases feel good hormones in your brain. The more you do this, the more your brain seeks that behavior out, and you end up feeling motivated to do even more.

But procrastination is also tied to this system, which is why you do other things and getting distracted. Scrolling social media is more rewarding than working on a spreadsheet. To beat procrastination you have to tie each task with a specific reward.

You want to make sure the reward is strong enough to overcome your procrastination rewards, but not bigger than the task itself. That means small but effective rewards for small tasks, big but effective rewards for bigger tasks. Things like taking a five-minute break or getting to eat that snack you’ve really wanted. You might read a book for ten minutes or call your friend for a brief chat. Sometimes crossing off a to-do list or filling in a chart can feel rewarding and satisfying, but you want to mix actual rewards in, too.

Take the time to really consider what you find rewarding. Perhaps buying those super cute socks after you finish a majority of your daily tasks is a good reward. Or going to see the newest movie after work. Different things motivate everyone, so don’t be afraid of what anyone else wants or thinks. Find the right rewards for you.

If you find that you’re not actually that excited about a certain reward, change it. The things you think might motivate you might not be as important or exciting as you thought. Give yourself the opportunity to be flexible. The only important thing is that you’re looking forward to whatever that reward is, no matter how silly or how small. And be sure to add larger rewards for milestones and larger achievements.

Motivation is key to being more productive. Procrastinating is tempting, but with the right rewards in place, you’ll be far more motivated to achieve your tasks all day, every day.


Procrastination happens. But it doesn’t have to stop you from reaching your dreams and getting the most out of your day. By understanding why you’re avoiding a task, you can find the right tools and tips to beat procrastination, unlock your productivity, and start achieving your Limitless goals—no matter what.

Watch this video for more tips on how to FINALLY beat procrastination:


Do you think creativity is a skill you lack? Or do you associate creativity with certain people and you’re not one of them? In our fast-evolving world, creativity is a skill you cannot do without. And most people don’t lack the ability to create. They simply have habits that kill creativity.

The truth is, you were born with an infinite capacity for creativity. Look at any child and you’ll know this is true. But as you grow up, your environment grows more complex, and to cope with these threats, your brain forms habits and sets parameters within which you function almost on auto-pilot. 

If you want to reconnect with your creative side, here are five habits that kill creativity and what you can do to stop them.

How Creativity Works

According to neuroscience, creativity thrives on ‘divergent thinking’. In simpler terms, it’s the ability to connect seemingly unrelated things. Your neural network controls this activity, which is a combination of three brain networks — the default mode network, the executive control network, and the salience network. The default mode network provides your repository of ideas. Concentration, emotions, and decision making are some things that the executive network oversees. And the salience network identifies what information is important and what is not. These three work together to produce ‘creative thinking’, and the habits mentioned below hinder all three of them.

1. Over-rationalizing

Rational thinking is following the safest and most tried-and-tested pattern again and again to solve problems. Your rational mind is risk-averse to new ways of making connections. When you judge every single new idea with your default rational parameters, you stop taking risks and making new connections.

2. The Comfort Zone

This is when you let the default-mode take complete control. If you’ve been doing the same thing for a long time, your brain has fallen into a pattern. This means your salience network won’t present new information or your executive control network won’t weave it in with existing ideas. But this is mistaking a stupor for peace of mind. You’re not allowing your brain to perform creative functions, which are an essential part of its job. Getting too comfortable in one place actually numbs the creative part of your brain into inactivity and affects your brain health in the long term.

3. Fear of Failure

Failure is not a pleasant experience at all. It affects your mood and hormones negatively, which is why you avoid scenarios that can lead to failure. One of those scenarios is risk. But all creative enterprise contains a grain of risk. All new things are a leap into the darkness, however small. If you spend all of your energy avoiding failure, your brain stops generating and connecting new ideas. Focusing on failure is one of the habits that will kill creativity.

4. Information Overload

This is an all too common problem. There is too much information at your fingertips and too little time to analyze and digest it. When your brain becomes saturated with too much information, the salience network experiences immense pressure and cannot perform smoothly. This leads to indecision and overthinking, a sign of overworking the executive control network. Taking time off from a work situation is essential so that your brain has time to sort out the various info and discard the unimportant ones.

5. Not Sharing Ideas

Creativity thrives on collaboration. Letting other people’s voices into your mind offers fresh perspectives and a more diverse set of information points. This helps you look at problems differently. When you hide your ideas and work without outside input, you are missing out on important connections that another person with unique life experiences could identify more easily than you.


You are creative. Your brain has all the components to make creative thinking possible. Yet, it is often your brain that hinders creative growth because it relies too much on habits that kill creativity. It’s time to break the cycle. Kill these five habits and unleash your creative potential.

For more on how to unlock your creative side, watch this video:


Have you ever wondered if cold weather affects brain performance? Some find winter weather invigorating. To them, the cold is energizing, making them sharp and at the top of their game. For others, it’s completely different. It makes them tired and sluggish. Cold weather aside, the shorter, cloud-filled days can induce seasonal depression.

Whether you’re a cold weather enthusiast or prefer your chilly days bundled up inside, research has been exploring if weather affects the way the brain works. Is the invigoration simply your perception? Or is there something else at play? They’ve found some surprising results.

Cold And The Brain    

It’s important to clarify that even though you put a hat on your head to stay warm, the brain doesn’t actually feel cold. Your skull and layers of protective tissue made up of the meninges and cerebrospinal fluid act as an insular heating system. Even if your head feels cold, your brain is warm. So, what is it about cold weather that produces either sluggish thinking or invigorated creativity?

There’s a pervasive belief in society that cold weather slows you down. Some of this belief stems from comparing human behavior to similarities in hibernating species. The cold makes your fingers and limbs slower, so it makes sense that your entire body reacts in the same way. But research is finding that this isn’t true. At least, not entirely.

In cognitive performance tests focusing on math skills and verbal tests, men performed better at cooler temperatures. However, the primary indicator of whether someone would perform cognitively better or worse was if they were comfortable. Comfort is one of the most important factors in cognitive performance. There are ways you can increase your comfort levels with the cold, and decrease the effect it has on you. Listen to our podcast episode with Wim Hof for more on that.

But cold weather does impact one key area in your body, which affects your brain.

Our Brain and Glucose

One key finding in cold weather studies is how cold weather changes glucose production. Again, while your brain doesn’t feel cold, keeping your body warm requires more energy. Glucose is your brain’s primary energy source. If you don’t increase the amount of glucose levels in your body to both maintain temperature and feed your brain, the result can be sluggish thinking and slower cognitive performance. Remember that your brain uses up to 20% of your total energy every day. If your body starts using more of that energy to stay warm, your brain will struggle to remain sharp, and cognitive functioning will slow down.

When your body temperature struggles to regulate, it can kick the thyroid into hyper-drive. The thyroid is important in maintaining your mood, weight, and energy levels. If lack of glucose causes your thyroid to work overtime, it can overproduce hormones trying to find the right balance, and this can lead to brain fog and feeling overly tired. Unfortunately, because this can also induce weight gain, it can trigger you to eat less, which only makes the problem worse.

In order to produce glucose, it’s essential to eat the right foods in the right amounts. Otherwise, your entire body can become unbalanced. This explains why you might crave heartier meals in the colder months. Your body and brain need the extra energy to function.

Other Key Factors

Researchers have also been studying the implications of winter and mental health, primarily as it relates to Seasonal Affective Disorder or seasonal depression. Almost one-fourth of the population will suffer symptoms of this disorder in their lives.

Seasonal depression has less to do with the weather and more to do with decreased exposure to sunlight, which leads to lower levels of Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps keep you healthy, but it also maintains the balance in your neurochemical levels of important mood hormones like serotonin and dopamine. Drops in these chemicals can cause depression and anxiety, both of which interfere with your cognitive functioning.

Lack of sunlight also impacts your circadian rhythms. With less of the blue light sun rays that stimulate cortisol production, the hormone that tells your brain and body to wake up and get moving, you can begin producing too much melatonin instead. Too much melatonin can lead to you feeling groggy throughout the day. If it’s too cold to exercise outside in the morning, you can help balance your circadian rhythm by adding a sunlamp to your desk.

When combined, this can make it seem like the cold weather is causing you to have slower reaction times, difficulty thinking, increased sleep, and other behavioral symptoms.


Whether you like cold weather or not is a personal preference. Your brain and body may function differently, but the temperature itself does not have a direct impact on the brain. It’s important to understand what causes negative reactions from the cold, however, and adjust both your nutrition, sleep, and exercise routines to help balance your increased energy needs.

Cold is a state of mind. If you’re taking care of your body’s needs, you can use the cold to your advantage through cold therapy training. No matter what the weather brings, you can take measures to ensure that you stay happy, healthy, and productive throughout the year.

For more on how to use cold to your brain advantage, check out our YouTube episode with Wim “The Iceman” Hof:

The Science of Multitasking

There’s debate in the field of productivity on if the science of multitasking is good or bad. For some, it’s efficient to do more than one task at a time. It’s a way to maximize productivity. In some circles, the people who can engage in multiple tasks effortlessly are the pinnacles of productivity and the standard everyone should strive towards.

Sometimes, multitasking makes sense. If you have to commute to work, you can listen to audiobooks as you drive or record your notes so that you’re ready for a meeting. But doing more than one thing at a time can be a distraction that divides your attention, producing less accurate results.

When it comes to the science of multitasking, the answer is clear: it isn’t good for your brain. Here are three science-backed reasons multitasking doesn’t work, and what you can do instead.


A Stanford study found that people who consistently multitask may have a shorter attention span and get distracted more easily. The more media participants had to juggle, the worse their ability to pay attention and focus became.

It takes an average of twenty-three minutes to gain your focus back after an interruption, according to a study out of the University of California. That means every time you look away from your work to answer the phone, glance at a text, say hello to a colleague, accept a delivery, etc., it takes over twenty minutes to get back into the task at hand.

Even if multitaskers appear to switch seamlessly between tasks, their brain functionality still takes time to catch up between each change. That means details might slip, memory declines, and performance is detrimentally affected. They may appear to be operating at a ten, but they’re likely only performing at a five or a six.

In comparison, focusing on one task at a time means your brain can give full processing power and resources to that one thing. You’ll be able to get more done faster and then move on to the next item. Your work will improve, your productivity will improve, and you’ll be able to get more done in less time.


Every time you have to stop and start a task, it takes brain power. In fact, studies show that each change can cost you as much as ten IQ points in terms of energy and functionality. Another study found that multitasking impacted the brain’s performance similarly to taking drugs or staying up all night.

If you aren’t careful, being constantly interrupted as you work can have devastating effects on your body and brain. According to a study from the University of California, Irvine, this can lead to exhaustion and stress-induced illnesses. Your error rates increase and the time to complete each task goes up.


Memory relies on focused cognition. It needs a goal. If you’re not focused on the task at hand, you’re essentially telling your brain that what you’re doing in that moment isn’t important. And the odds that you’ll remember the details dramatically decrease. The more focused you are on a task, the more relevance your brain is going to give the task. You’ll remember more about what you were doing, particularly if you connect that task with a goal.

Even more alarming, research is just now understanding how distractions can affect your memory—even if you aren’t currently engaged in a task. You might scroll your social media on your breaks or during meals. But studies show that this can impact both your long- and short-term memory and train distractibility at the same time.

If multitasking is an ingrained habit for you, there might be ways around it. Here are some tips to help you make the most of it and get more done:


If you have a lot on your to-do list and can’t seem to gain focus on one activity at a time, group similar items together and work on them together. You can do all your research for various projects in one work session so that you can switch between subjects, but stay in a similar task. The same goes for answering emails and social media messages.

Choose items that need the same skill set, brain power, and creative energy to complete. That way, as you switch between them, the disruption is minimal and you can easily reengage those areas of your brain. This can also help you learn to minimize your to-do list, helping you train your focus. As you get better at completing these similar tasks, start getting more disciplined about how similar they are, and soon, you’ll be focusing on one task at a time.


The multitasking that’s worse for your brain and work performance is the one that involves unhealthy distractions such as social media, stressing over future events, checking email all the time for no apparent reason, etc. You might set a timer for social media, or limit how much time or the time of day you have access to certain apps. Hide your phone or use a lock app that doesn’t let you in once you set a timer.

As we mentioned in the opening, some types of multitasking aren’t bad. You can listen to audiobooks, podcasts, or lectures while driving, exercising or doing chores. The key is to wait until you’re doing something that doesn’t require the same higher cognitive function. You can walk and listen at the same time with minimal interference in your brain.

Learning how to maximize your time by reducing distractions and increasing how you achieve your productivity can be a game-changer for your output. You’ll find that you have more momentum, clarity, and concentration when you sit down to do more focused work.


One thing multitaskers do that makes the situation even worse is not taking breaks every hour. Your brain needs rest, especially if you’re engaging in taxing activities. Try not to fill that time with even more distractions, or more tasks that require brain power. The more time you can give your brain to rest and recover, the faster you can get back to work—even if that means more multitasking.

Schedule your breaks ahead of time. If you’re doing a lot of multitasking, take them frequently, even if you don’t think you need one. The last thing you want is to feel burnt out at the end of the workday, so give breaks the valuable time they deserve. Allow your mind to wander. Meditate. Practice deep breathing exercises to boost your oxygen levels. Eat a healthy snack or get some exercise.

You want to give your brain the things it needs to function at its best, so be sure you don’t fill this time with work-related activities.


These three tricks will hopefully help you when you multitask, but also help you work towards reducing the amount of multitasking you’re currently doing. Focusing on a single task at a time is the best approach, particularly for executive functionality and higher cognitive processing. You’ll soon discover that you can remember more, increase your attention-span, concentration, and focus, and get more done in less time.

If you want to learn how to focus your distracted mind, watch this episode: