Do you ever feel like some people solve problems easily? Entrepreneurs in general tend to be good at solving problems using creative and/or practical solutions. Do these types of problem solving strategies come easily to most people? As a business owner, how can you harness the right frame of mind to make money and improve productivity within your venture?
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is what sets humans apart from animal kingdom. It regulates emotions, thoughts and ideas and makes success and fulfillment possible. As per research conducted by Professor Richard Daft from Vanderbilt University, the average human spends only about 2 percent to 10 percent of their time each day using this part of the brain (referred to as the ‘executive mind’). The PFC must be coaxed into action. Characteristics of the executive mind include: thoughtful, intentional, reflective, measured, and sees in the here and now.
Imagine what you can achieve if you could add one more percentage point to your executive category, therefore maximizing productivity. The following five steps can help you to move your PFC into action.
Lead It: Instead of your mind scanning and finding something to do, direct your brain to focus on something. This is a deliberate function that will require effort, but it will pay off because the more you focus, the more insights you will get.
Weed It: You can try to avoid messy thinking by moderating what’s on your mind. It’s easy to weed out unwanted distractions by keeping away from devices or elements that distract you (such as a TV, radio or even leaving your office door open). You will notice how much you can accomplish by being focused. Prioritize your list of “TBDs” for the highest productivity.
Speed It: Give your memory a break—instead of trying to remember everything you need to accomplish, write it down. If you have too many things on your mind, it slows down. This way, you will have more time for productive and creative thinking.
Rest It: To help your PFC to wander and reflect, take regular quiet intervals. This will in turn help to prime it for tasks such as critical thinking and problem solving. You can do this by taking a walk or distracting yourself with something completely off topic. Creating deliberate distractions can help to prepare you for bursts of brilliance.
Feed It: The brain operates on glucose and oxygen, eating 20 percent of your total body glucose. If you eat foods that are high in fat (or regularly skip meals), you are not giving your brain a chance to think creatively about the next big idea. Ideal foods for a clear and healthy brain include potatoes, brown rice, grains, fruits and vegetables.
How do you harness your brain power? Are you following the steps outlined above?
Thanks for reading, and until next time… stay WISE!