Tim Lawlor

By Tim Lawlor

Ottawa Construction News associate publisher

A little neuroscience savvy gives us all power to understand and manage ourselves and adapt behaviours to work with our brain, not against it, says Eileen Chadnick’s blog.  Here is an excerpt:

10 Brain “must-knows” to live and work with more ease

1.         Too much stress compromises our higher thinking brain’s capacity.

Just when we need it most we lose our “thinking ability.” So learn to manage that stress response so you can properly think your way through those “crazy busy” times.

2.         Our brains love it when we get organized and make plans.

Write out a list, prioritize and make plans. Just a few moments to get a bit more organized will not only bring our higher thinking brain back online

3.         Our brains have a sweet spot of optimal stress for their best functioning.

While too much stress can compromise the prefrontal cortex and “shut down” our brain’s capacity for higher functioning, too little stress can do the same. So become aware of your sweet spot.

4.         Our higher thinking brains are not meant to store large loads of information.

            Yet, all too often, we try to load up our “to-do’s” in our head which is a first class ticket to “Mind Full” syndrome. It is important to get much of my “stuff” out of my head, but keep it appropriately top of mind. So “yay” to structures like lists, plans, etc.

5.         Focus is “candy for the brain” – and the body too.

When we focus, we are rewarded with better thinking, more clarity, a feeling of engagement. Chunk down your priorities and bring more focus into your day – even if for only minutes at a time, start small and build up from there.

6.         Our brains tend to hold on to “unfinished business.”

The weight of unfinished business can burden us and contribute to the feeling of overwhelm. So more proof for the merit of making plans for your unfinished business. This strategy will also help you sleep better at night.

7.         Positivity broadens and builds your brain (and life) capacity.

Positivity is not just a “nice-to-have” attribute. It is truly an essential ingredient for success and well-being. Positivity will give a boost to one’s potential to thrive with more fulfillment and success.

8.         Connecting with others is good for the brain, body and spirit.

Even moments at a time will give you and your brain boost.

9.         A picture is worth a thousand words.

Create a picture, image or saying that will help you tap into a more positive, calmer state at a moment’s notice.

10.       You can teach an “old dog new tricks”.

That means we can create new habits, new ways of thinking and new ways of reacting and experiencing the ups and downs of work and life. We have the power to choose. You can indeed change. Practice, rinse, repeat. Then see what happens.

            Eileen Chadnick is a work-life and career coach and principal of Big Cheese Coaching in Toronto and author of a new book, Ease: Manage Overwhelm in Times of “Crazy Busy”. Follow her at

            You can reach Tim Lawlor at, or by phoning (613) 224-3460 ext 111.


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