Brainfood: Your route to the top - Slow down to achieve

Give it all you've got. Direct all your attention to what you're doing now, and do it brilliantly. Don't let your mind rush on to the next task until you've finished this one.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Listen a bit longer. We tend to jump in with an answer before we've got all the information. Letting the other person speak will ensure that they feel heard, and may make feel them more positive about our proposal.

Let other people make the mistakes. The first to market doesn't always succeed. The second and third to market can learn from the lessons of the pioneer and avoid their mistakes for a fraction of the cost.

Learn your habits. Work out where your rushing causes you to make mistakes - leaving your keys at home, your mobile in the office, or your head in the last meeting. Use a prompt as a reminder to slow down. If the shower curtain features in your early-morning rush, use it as a trigger to alert you to take a breath and cut your speed.

Get out of the speed trap. Faster isn't necessarily quicker. Go at a pace that works for you - just because everyone else is rushing doesn't mean that you have to.

Fill dead time. Have something to do while you're standing in a queue or waiting for someone to arrive. Rather than getting impatient, much better to read something you've been meaning to get round to or draft a few letters.

Defer judgment. Get comfortable with not knowing the answer straight away. Be confident enough to say 'I don't know' occasionally, then allow yourself time to find an answer that's right, rather than merely the quickest.

Let your conscious mind work. Take time to mull an idea over. The most innovative thoughts invariably arrive after a period of incubation.

The Mind Gym: Wake Your Mind Up is published by Time Warner (£12.99), www.themindgym.com.

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