There are times we get unconscious of our habits, and think that it would help us to do things that we should be doing.
”Oh, I need a coffee because it helps me think!”, ”Oh, I need a sleep because it would help refresh my mind!” etc.
This might be true on certain circumstances, but we often misjudge things just because it worked effectively in the past. But how really are we certain that it is exactly what we needed?
What if the caffeine just worsens your focus as you get more agitated? What if the sleep wasn’t necessary at all and only made you procrastinate?
These are misjudgments and this would likely put consequences to our cognitive ability. Yet the question is how can we really not misjudge our habits without slowing down how we respond on things, and be more conscious about it?
Maybe the brief answer revolves only around to what we feed to our brain.
Sunlight, water, enough protein, enough iron, etc. We are bio-creatures and how we take care of our brain (and also those parts that connects to it and those parts that needed the information i.e. veins, guts, sensory organs) should be healthy*.
Facts and stories might also help. We are intellectual being. These information are technically what reminds with our objectives or at least wants in life. Well, of course, with the help again of sensory organs and those parts that processes these information.
And last, find meaning and answers (yes, plural with ”s”) with this question: ”Would it really help if I do (— or don’t do) it?” This would help you understand the rationale behind your every decisions, including decisions for miniscule activities such as taking a sip of water— in such whether it would help you or not to maintain the productivity momentum or not, and even sighing— in such whether if this would help you release your stress or maybe just worsen the room. Well again, it’s a matter of judgment— a mindful one.
* Note: This is not a neuroscience nor cognitive science site, there are lots of books and article that would describes a healthy brain and body, and how we respond to stimuli. Few recommended books that might help on how you can understand our brain and behaviour: (1) Behave – The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by R. Sapolsky, (2) Physiology of Behavior 11th ed. – N. Carlson.