Brain Food

How to Effectively Implement Change

David Simon

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Change is hard. Today, you may resolve to procrastinate less at work, only to find yourself browsing Facebook tomorrow, when you should be working on your big presentation.

Luckily, there are tools to make change easier.

Find the bright spots and spread them

One of the challenges we face is that our brains are extraordinarily adept at spotting all possible obstacles to change. So we instantly think things like, “I’ll never stop procrastinating when Facebook is just a click away.”

This can be disheartening.

To overcome this tendency, you need to find and focus on the bright spots: specific situations where you’ve already succeeded in making a positive change.

For example, if you want to stop procrastinating at work, try to identify days when you didn’t procrastinate much at all. What was special about those days?

You might realize that you had a relaxed morning, perhaps meditating a bit before work, which resulted in a calm focus for the whole day.

Now, take those bright spots and spread them around. In this case, you could start meditating every morning, thereby lessening procrastination later in the day.

For more on how to effect change in your life – including why you need to shape your environment to support it – we recommend reading “Switch”, by Chip and Dan Heath.

Switch provides simple yet effective tools for implementing changes.

Don’t have time to read the whole book? Read or listen to a powerful short from this book in just 15 minutes on Blinkist:

Switch, by Chip & Dan Heath

 

 

How to Properly Save Your Creative Ideas

David Simon

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It’s Friday and you have 5,000 things whirring around in your head: Do laundry! Finish that email! Call Mum!

Adding to the chaos, you’re also having some pretty inspired ideas that you’d like to concentrate on. But, as you’re trying to work out how to incorporate some fantastic plot twist into that novel you’re writing, yet another peremptory thought barges in: “BUY BREAD!”

What causes this mental hurly-burly? Well, our brains have limited short-term memory, or psychic RAM, making it impossible to simultaneously concentrate on our to-do lists and our creative ideas.

So how can you save your creative ideas from death by distraction?

Write your ideas down – properly

Keep your ideas on life support by writing them down, And be sure to write them out in complete sentences.

Say you have an idea for your latest artwork. Instead of jotting down a word that, in the moment, you’re sure will jolt your memory – “watercolor?” – write out the thought: “Would the forest sketch look better using watercolor or pastel?” This establishes your idea as an entity independent of your own head, thus allowing you to better evaluate it later on.

For more on enabling creativity – and why it’s possible to be too organised, we recommend reading:

“Ready for Anything” By David Allen. 

Productivity consultant David Allen is considered one of the leading experts on organisational and personal productivity.

Don’t have time to read the whole book? Read or listen to a powerful short from this book in just 15 minutes on Blinkist:

Ready for Anything, By David Allen