Leading health and energy expert Oliver Gray offers us some tips and advice for keeping our minds focussed and productive.



Our mind controls everything - our health, energy, performance, success and happiness. We face challenges on how we manage our thinking, handle stress, deal with loss, and stay positive in a world that can seem to throw so much negativity our way.  
 
Every day we are bombarded with negativity and perceived challenges. I say ‘perceived’ challenges because often we face a situation that we think is a major problem, but it is only our perception of the situation that has created it.  Our mind is hardwired to be drawn to what’s wrong and potentially dangerous. This has kept us alive and evolving for thousands of years.
 
Unfortunately, our focus is often more on the 5% of our lives that we perceive as ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ rather than the huge 95% that is ‘good’.
 
By investing a little time and energy in developing techniques to help us manage our mind effectively we have a real opportunity to:
 
- Create a strong positive mindset that becomes your natural state of mind
- Keep positive and happy even during tough times
- Overcome loss quicker, with less suffering
- Feel motivated and full of energy
- Create the future you desire
- Manage stress and pressure better
- Stay looking younger for longer
- Keep healthy and energised
 
Mind management is at the heart of everything we do so if we can crack this then everything else becomes easy. Here are my 8 mind management strategies for health, energy and performance:
 
1. Work/life balance
Ensure that working in the evenings and on your days off is the exception, rather than the rule.
 
2. Brain dump
At the end of each day, write down your work problems. Plan your next day ahead to identify what you can realistically achieve and prioritise your top 3 actions. Repeat this process on Fridays for the week ahead.
 
This will help you switch off from work thoughts giving you a clear partition from work until the next working day
 
3. Your mind energy 
Schedule important tasks, meetings or project work at the start of the day when you have the best mind energy. Schedule emails and admin etc for the end of the day when you have less mind energy
 
4. Manage your emails don’t let them manage you
Follow my four golden rules of email:
 
- Avoid looking at emails in the evenings & at weekends. Turn off auto email push on your Blackberry or iPhone  
- To avoid constant interruptions to your focus, turn off audio alerts on your email (and phone)
- Check emails (and voicemail) at designated times and only once or twice a day (manage your co-workers’ expectations)
- Five actions for every email: delete, respond/delete, forward/delete, unsubscribe/delete, or file in a follow up folder
 
5. Batch tasks
Improve focus and energy by batching your tasks as opposed to multitasking; be present in what you are doing.  This is often called mindfulness
 
6. Be positive
Keeping focused on the positives & creating the future you want. Positivity, keeps you energised.  Negativity drains your energy
 
7. Use your strengths
Ensure your job plays to your natural talents & strengths, ask yourself these questions:
 
− At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? Do I love what I do at work?
− Do I find work effortless? Can I do my work consistently to a high standard most of the time?
 
To discover your strengths, buy the Strengthfinder 2.0 book at www.strengthfinder.com 
 
8. Feel good activities
Filling your days, weeks and months with the stuff that makes you feel good. Make a list!
 
- Listen to relaxing music
- Take a walk in nature
- Have a hot bath
- Go for a workout
- 20+ minutes of mediation
- Meet or call a friend who energises you
- Play with an animal
- Make yourself your favourite meal
- Watch your favourite TV or film
- Weekend break
- Get a massage or facial
- Read a book with scented candles lit


Oliver Gray is the author of ENERGISE YOU – The ultimate health and energy plan. His book focuses on bringing together all the best information on health, energy and  happiness in one easy-to-implement system for change.