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December 12, 2016
9 Ways to Cheat on Behalf of Your Brain
December 12, 2016
I have a confession to make.I always want people to think I’m smart and trendy. People who are both smart and trendy, typically know what’s going on in the news, their industry, what’s new with pop culture, anddddd they’re well read.But the truth is, I just don’t have the time to dig through every news outlet there is, or scroll through all the funny cat videos on Facebook, to make myself seem more informed than I really am. Not to mention the fact that I’m sometimes lazy.And, as it turns out, this is the story for many of us inundated with information in all forms throughout the day. We’re not inherently lazy, but we prioritize performing daily tasks at work or school to catching up on information surrounding Google’s latest project, for example.This is called information overload and it occurs when you are trying to prioritize more information than you can, in order to make reasonable decisions. As a result, you either delay making those decisions, or you simply make the wrong choices.According to inforgineering.net, “The root of the problem is that, although computer processing and memory is increasing all the time, the humans that must use the information are not getting any faster. Effectively, the human mind acts as a bottleneck in the process.”Believe when I say that overwhelming feeling you get upon checking your inbox each morning is not unique to you.In a new study referenced by Gizmodo.com, “Just 13 percent of people between 18-29 years old felt overwhelmed by the amount of information they consume. For those Americans who were 65 and older that percentage jumped to 31 percent… But another big factor had to do with income levels…Of those Americans living in households that make $30,000 per year or less, a full 25 percent said that information overload was an issue for them. For adults living in households that take home $75,000 per year it was just 15 percent.”So, how do we combat this issue, since apparently our brains can’t speed up like Watson for Cyber Security? (If you didn’t get that reference, then you’re already one step behind. See what I mean?)What we have to realize is, sometime it’s okay to cut corners for the sake of better brain function.I’ve listed out some ways you can cheat like a pro in order to become smarter, trendier, and eventually, more efficient:
- Prioritize the quality of information you search for and digest versus the quantity. As I’m sure you’ve been told, more isn’t always better.
- Choose between what you need to know, and what you’d like to know. At times you’ve got to sacrifice personal interests.
- Be straightforward when asking questions and when giving directions.
- Don’t Multitask! (Unless you’re eating and watching TV, for example.) Staying on a single task helps you do it better and more quickly.
- If your technology is the distraction, disconnect when possible.
- Take a moment each day to clear your mind. If it helps, write pestering thoughts down and then move on from them.
- Clump together similar tasks for increased efficiency.
- When you’re truly feeling overwhelmed, just take a break. Even 15 minutes of down time can do a lot of good.
- Lastly, if you’re looking for information, seek out pieces that have been reduced to digestible chunks, like the list in this blog, so you can jump to the takeaway if needed.