You've probably heard that people only use about 10 percent of their brains. While it turns out that's actually not true, humans do have the mental capacity to accomplish more than we typically do.

I'll admit, I'm a glutton for productivity. I'm always looking for more ways to accomplish more, yet take less time.

Wanna know the most overlooked productivity tool that I've found? It's your very own subconscious, which is tirelessly working—whether you're asleep or wide awake.

Your conscious mind is only active 14 to 18 hours of each day.

To take advantage of your untapped subconscious, embody the following principles and make them part of your daily routine.

Winding Down

Giving yourself permission to take the time and wind down is the first step towards giving your subconscious the care that it needs.

When you've been busy all day, and you're exhausted, it's easy to think thoughts like,

The minute I get home, I'm passing out. I need to get as much rest as I can.

The reality is that restful sleep is about more than your body. Taking stress off your mind before you lay down makes it possible for your brain to recharge while also getting stuff done.

A couple of practices to help out here:

  • Read something interesting (preferably fiction) just before bed.
  • Outline the next day's today list, getting tasks on paper, and out of your mind.

Leveling

Leveling means focusing on tasks you can initiate, which will continue to make progress on their own.

Multitasking isn't possible, but honestly? Leveling is the next best thing.

You can apply this to your mental subconscious by looking for concepts your brain can process while your body continues to sleep.

During shuteye, your mind does much more than dream. Your mind spends the night categorizing thoughts and memories within your brain—but that's definitely not all it can do.

In a 2014 study which monitored brain waves, it was found that people could classify words into categories whether awake or sound asleep.

Think that's crazy? Try this out for yourself: learn something new, and then take a nap—when you awake, you'll understand better what it is that you've just started to learn.

As a writer, I practice leveling by outlining each blog post the night before I write. When I do that, my subconscious takes the rough framework and keeps filling in the gaps during the night.

“Outline your thoughts the night before to become a better writer, or to take less time to write.”

Don't think of sleep as time away from your life's work—each hour of rest is an hour your mind prepares for the next task.

Question: Can you think of a time your thoughts made more sense after a good night's sleep?

About

John Meese is the author of the #1 bestseller Survive and Thrive: How to Build a Profitable Business in Any Economy (Including This One). An entrepreneur himself, John is on a mission to eradicate generational poverty by equipping entrepreneurs with the tools and training they need to build thriving businesses from scratch. He is the CEO of Cowork Inc, co-founder of Notable, and regularly publishes interviews and insight at JohnMeese.com.

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