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Over-occupied Brains: Why Smart People Underperform


They are people with rare talent and abundant intellect. Remarkably creative and original, they have a natural flair for ingenuity and improvisation - possessing even a natural entrepreneurial flair. They are the ones whom everyone refers to as "born leaders".


Unfortunately, many of these incredibly smart people lose track and misplace their smarts in trivial matters; or perhaps they just don't know how to manage their intelligence. They could be brilliant inside but average or unsatisfactory on the outside. Part of the reason is that we have become crazed, distracted, frenzied and impatient souls who are wandering about aimlessly in this modern jungle. And we are driving our brains recklessly fast in all directions. Milan Kundera has typified this with his famous line "Speed is the ecstasy of the modern man".

Like any other drug, this rush was bound to have side-effects on us, too. Attention Deficit Disorder is a modern day ill that makes it difficult for those affected to stay organized or focused and manage time. A study published by Harvard Business Review says that this widespread disorder could mar the potential of even otherwise bright individuals. We present to you things you should know about ADD:


Brain Overload

One of the most direct causes of Attention Deficit Disorder is Brain Overload. If it goes on undetected, needing clinical attention. ADD affects many CEOs and top level managers, famous artists, actors, along with bright students of the millennial generation - all of which are consuming information of some kind almost 20 hours in a day.  As the mind gets filled with feckless junk and noise and gets bombarded with information from all corners, it loses its ability to concentrate and attend fully to anything.
Signs You Could Be An Underperformer

1. You Develop a Tendency to Procrastinate

2. You Miss Deadlines

3. You are Disorganized and Tardy

4. You are Forgetful

5. You have a Short Attention Span; you can't even focus clearly for ten minutes at a stretch without opening a new tab, or looking into your phone.


Tips and Tricks to Help You Perform Better

1. The Power of Human Connection

We need a positive, fear-free and emotional background to perform, no matter how tough we claim to be. It has been shown that Human Connection can cause you to be more relaxed, and in turn, stay focused. Interact once every four hours with a person you like in the office - even a smile would do!

2. Break Down Large Tasks into Small Ones

Big tasks can often confound us; therefore it is better to break down a large task into small ones. If it is a 300 page book you plan to finish in a week, try to finish 50 pages in a day.

3. Don't Catch Up First Thing In the Morning

Many workers check their e-mails, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and online reading lists first thing in the morning. Instead, it is better to pack a punch and attend to a critical task in the wee hours so that you can stay saner at the day's end.

4. Make Simple To-Do Lists

No, we aren't talking about long and grand lists. Make a list of short and doable tasks the night before and go about achieving them one by one at ease.

5. Switch off

Keep yourself off technology for some time. And take the time as the zone to think, reflect, ideate, etc.

6. In times of restlessness, write

If you feel unable to concentrate, and are controlling the urge to distract yourself, write. Write when you are hyped up; write a memo or open a dictionary. You could even get into the habit of solving puzzles.

7. Achieve a Task, Then Throw It Away

As and when you get some work done, throw it away, and don't get back to it. If you keep piling it up, it will grow like weed into your productivity. For example: If you were to make a file, doing half of it here and half there won't help. Just finish it, pass it on to whomever concerned, and throw it in the mental dustbin once and for all.

By Divyani Rattanpal


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Career Magazine: Over-occupied Brains: Why Smart People Underperform
Over-occupied Brains: Why Smart People Underperform
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