4 Ways To Get Your Brain Into Action Mode

What is action mode?  It is where your brain is in a state where it is ready to do critical thinking for a substantial period of time.  How can you get to this state if you aren’t getting there currently?  That is what this post is about.  Following these steps should take you from where you are as point zero to being a pioneer in some category in a short period of time.

1. Disconnect From The Internet

It could be this simple for some of you.  Staying connected to the internet and your computer or portable device may be the reason you can’t focus.  There are so many distractions and items to keep up with, including messages, e-mails, news, weather, software updates, music, and so on.  For some of you, these are fine, and for others, these distractions are rendering you unproductive on a regular basis.  If you sense this, get away from your computing device at times.  Disconnecting the internet may not be enough(even though it is the title of this subsection).

Related link about disconnection

2. Do Puzzles That Fit You

What you may need is to do puzzles of a certain type.  Whether it be sudoku, word searches, logic puzzles, number games, cryptograms, crosswords, or very specific puzzles that you know of like solving the next move in a chess game, you could greatly benefit from finding a puzzle set you can enjoy and use regularly to activate your brain.  A long time ago, I really liked word search puzzles.  I would do loads and loads of them.  I had a subscription to a word-search book series called Find-A-Word where I would get a new book of 100 or so word searches each month.

You can’t lose with puzzles because they are much better than most time-passing activities that you do since they get your brain rolling with thoughts.  You can write things you think of down while doing the puzzles on the side of them, and then the pages they are on get filled with puzzle answers and puzzle steps you took, as well as thoughts you had for outside the puzzles.  Maybe this will help one of you like it has me.

3. Sleep On Time Or Enough

If you are one of those folks that can’t get going during the day because you didn’t sleep enough, because you either got distracted during the late night period or didn’t set a specific time to sleep, this point is for you.  You will not reach that peak state of productivity until you get enough sleep on a regular basis.  Getting enough sleep is all about what you do at nighttime.  If you squander your time at night, your next day will not be as you hope it to be, and it will be out of your control(until the next evening).

4. Think About How Limited Your Time Is

This one can get you going if you need a boost of energy.  When you think for a minute about how little time you have to accomplish what you want, it is likely to jump-start you into thinking through your options, leading to taking action.  Sometimes we are thinking that we have a year to do a certain item when we really only have a month to do that specific item before some change takes place that makes it much more difficult or out-of-reach.

26 thoughts on “4 Ways To Get Your Brain Into Action Mode”

  1. Hello Armen,
    We live in a society that is constantly on. If we are not watching the TV, we are on the phone, or listening to the radio, or on the internet. This post reminds me that I need to take time to recharge so when I am “on”, I am really ‘on’.

    Thanks again.

    1. Hi Reflecto.

      It is on and continues to be on, and then is on again. We are basically off when we are always connected. It’s like being connected to a machine that feeds us oxygen, so we forget what it is like to acquire oxygen for ourselves, and become weaker.

      I have noticed that the efficient people online are the ones who are often away from the the net for defined periods of time.

  2. Great tips, Armen. I love your last one. There really is only so much time in the day — that is motivation enough for me. Either you are serious about what you are up to or your not… and there is no mixing the two… and life is short

    1. Hi Rob.

      This is true. That point was more to say that there is only so much time in a life, but a day works as well. Procrastinating only makes sense to our minds when we keep our minds thinking in small terms, or else our minds would not be able to see past how stupid it is. If you have a big mind that can feel how things will be in the future, and see that you will have problem in 3 months if you don’t do something today, you won’t procrastinate.

  3. Ok, this might sound silly, but one thing that helps me if I am having trouble getting started is to take a shower. As I am washing my hair, I imagine the soup washing away all of my distractions and leaving a ‘clean brain slate’ behind.

    1. Hi Katie.

      This is a very valid one that I just didn’t think of when I was making the list. This fits perfectly onto the list as it is one of those things that can really get you going when you didn’t have focus in the first place. A shower disconnects you like in point #1, and it also has many different aspects to it that get your body running.

      Glad for this follow-up and your point about the clean slate makes sense.

  4. I enjoy doing puzzles too Armen, I love my rubiks cube, in fact I have two and even though it’s easy now, I can do it in about a minute but it still helps to activate my brain as I need to recall the algorithms to complete the puzzle.

    1. Hi Amit.

      The Rubik’s cube is another great example of a puzzle that gets your mind rolling. I am going to have a private investigator find out your solving algorithms.

      There was a time many months back where I thought about if closing comments would be a good idea since I saw it done elsewhere, but there is so much supplementary material that is provided by comentees that I am not intent on excluding. I am glad I didn’t sway on that choice.

  5. Armen,

    I so agree, internet can be infinite source of information, fun and educational thing, but even if we keep reading everything out there 24-7, lifetime would not be enough to read it all. Without sleep, no one can function properly, I know so as I have a almost 2 year (not there yet) waking me up at night occasionally and next day I am sleepy as I teach or survive on my tea-chai -)

    Preeti

    1. Hi Preeti.

      We sure can’t keep up with the influx of information spread through the net as you said there. We can try to focus on the valuable stuff though, like TED talks instead of YouTube clips, or responding to articles instead of skimming them and missing the value.

      Your 2 year old is probably just trying to test you to see how well you handle atypical sleep arrangements.

  6. Hi Armen, first time at your website, love the good work you’re doing here.

    Action Mode is that place where we all want to be throughout our days, and with good reason. But I think a balance is required, you can be in Action Mode for too long and frazzle your brain out.

    It’s also good to have down-time, and not to sacrifice one for the other.

    Thanks for sharing Armen :-)

    1. Hi Stuart.

      Welcome to the site and I hope you find/found something you like.

      I agree with what you are saying about Action Mode, and making it a proper noun term sounds about right, because it is a special mode of its own. It does have a limited timespan like you mention. I’d say two hours of Action Mode is worth 10 hours of generic effort-based time(estimate).

      We’re on the same page.

  7. I like your ideas and advise here! Except for #4…that wouldn’t work for me because when I think about how little time I have, that’s all I can think about! Constantly looking at the clock, worried I won’t finish, then…..times up! But I do think that, especially #2, you have great advise for motivating oneself. When I do any kind of brain puzzles or teasers I really get into the thinking mode. Like stretching before a run!

    1. Hi Jasmine.

      That makes sense that #4 would have such an effect. Maybe it doesn’t completely fit in with the others on the list. When we get into thoughts of how fast time is going, or the value we are putting in, it can lead to a cycle of thoughts that let the time pass by, so the thinking should be kept to a short period.

      Doing puzzles sure is like stretching before a run. I like some number puzzles and word puzzles. I only stretch after running for 20 minutes or so because I’m not warm until then.

  8. Hi Armen,

    I find that doing breath work helps me settle down mentally and there’s a specific breathing technique called the stimulating breath that actually stimulates the nervous system and helps you become focused and alert all without synthetic supplements or caffeine. Great post, thanks.

    1. Hi Lana.

      That is an interesting way to go about it. We usually think we need to get warmed up and intense for a period of intense effort, but actually, something like the breathing you mention here could get you into a focused state just as well. We breath all the time, but deep breathing or another type like the one you brought up can change how we feel.

  9. All interesting points to keep in mind when trying to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle for your brain. I especially like the idea of disconnecting from the Internet.

    1. Hi Dan.

      Thanks sir. That disconnection point is hard to stress, but when someone does it, they will see the effects quite easily.

      Good to hear from you.

  10. Great points! I am looking for a solution to the email challenges I face. Email is by nature reactive. I want to be proactive. I set time to review my email but I am bombarded by emails. I’ve cut out the junk and regularly unsuscribe to what needs to go. I’d be curious to know how you handle your email in basket?

    Thank you for a great blog!
    Shawn Kent Hayashi
    Author of Conversations For Change: 12 Ways to Say It Right When It Matters Most

    1. Hi Shawn.

      I can’t say I do too much for e-mail handling because I don’t get too much e-mail, but my main thing is to respond to most e-mails quickly and archive if I have nothing to do with them. As long as you unsubscribe to undesired items like you have mentioned, and respond quickly to e-mails that matter to you, I think you will be in fine shape.

      Good to hear from you and thanks for the question and kind words.

  11. I missed a great party here, huh? Hi, Armen. Couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t here when everyone was having a blast exchanging ideas. But definitely, I wasn’t online. So that’s a good point, huh? LOL!

    Anyways, I am a great believer of getting enough sleep. Enough said on that. As for puzzles, I’m only good at word games and stuff. Sodoku became interesting to me only because everyone is crazy about it, even have it on their mobile phones! But am not into it. I’m a dinosaur playing scrabble when there’s time. Or when I feel like taking a break. Before I’m judged, let me add I’m a whiz at TextTwist. ;)

    But what really gets my mind into action mode would be making sure I’m fit and healthy in all aspects. Probably because the oxygen, blood and connections are working well in my system, eh? And also because when I go out walking or for that routine jog, there’s so many things that get to mind for the current project I’m working on.

    Still, I like all your take on getting the brain to action. Just wanted the sleep part highlighted. It’s a really important thing, right? Keep posting, Armen! See yah!

    1. Hi Arina.

      I like your energy in this response. I appreciate that you brought it here. Most people don’t bring much energy on the internet.

      Word games are pretty cool. Good call on Scrabble, as that is one of the best games out there. Making words from sets of letters, and battling against others with your verbal knowledge, makes it a fun and stimulating time.

      Your point about being fit is duly noted, as without that fitness, we lose all our vigor, and without that, we might as well be amoebas.

      Good to hear from you and glad to read your words.

  12. “Staying connected to the internet and your computer or portable device may be the reason you can’t focus. There are so many distractions and items to keep up with, including messages, e-mails, news, weather, software updates, music..”

    This is absolutely true and before you know it an hour has passed and what have you been doing productively, not much at all. It also puts you into a very hypnotic mode that is with everything that is coming towards you – you get lost in the maze of websites.You also become addicted to checking up on all your websites constantly.

    1. Hi Shana.

      I agree with you about this hypnotic mode. Our brains seem to shut down when we have all these updates coming at us, and it is pretty dangerous to our success unless we disconnect. It is like we are quite powerless when it occurs.

      It’s a battle of sorts. It is us versus the various programs and distractions, and it is our willpower that defines who wins.

  13. I appreciate your effort to make such an important information on internet usage available.sometimes i do get confused after heinous day of surfing without a fruitful result.disconnecting is not simple for an internet addict, but it important .it gives room for concentration .

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