Avoiding the Lizard Brain

I don't want to write about triathlon training tonight.  I hope you'll indulge me for a moment, especially if you find yourself strapped to a desk during the workday. I've had a big plan to write at work.  I've been putting it off for the past week, often letting the excuse of  how busy it is in the office derail my best intentions.  After all, I felt needed with all the distractions -- whether they were in the form of people visiting my desk, email, phone, etc.

But the bottom line was that the important work wasn't getting done. One of my favorite bloggers, Seth Godin, refers to this as giving into the Lizard Brain.  This is the part of the brain that is purely emotional and often recoils in the face of danger or anything remotely uncomfortable.  I knew that I had more control over my schedule, but that I was giving into my own Lizard Brain by thinking all the distractions were diminishing my productivity.

So, I tried something new.  It may sound shocking, so brace yourselves...



Yeah, I know.  What a concept!  I'm not gonna lie, I had withdrawals.  I felt like I was missing out on fresh information, that maybe I was falling behind the loop of being "in the know."

That lasted around 30 minutes.  Then, I practically forgot about email.  And while I did check periodically throughout the day, turning off my email enabled me to enjoy one of my most productive days at work in several months. I researched, developed and produced my plan.  Finally.  And I even responded to the most important emails of the day after that, not to mention picking up the phone to call people to cut down on email traffic.  What a concept!

Let's turn this back to triathlon for a moment.  What is your Lizard Brain preventing you from confronting?  What should you be working on in your training that you're avoiding?  How can you reduce your distractions to focus on what's important?  What can you do to control your situation more effectively?

Don't give into the Lizard Brain.  It's slowing you down.

161 days and counting.