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Brain Hacks

Top 10 Books to Hack Your Brain: Unleash the Full Potential of Your Mind

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Have you ever felt like you’re not using your brain to its total capacity? What if you could optimize its functions to boost productivity, creativity, and decision-making? Isn’t it fascinating to think there might be a way to hack your brain? It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. But what if I told you it’s real, and you can do it?

Are you sure we only use 10% of our brains? That’s a myth. Neuroscientific research has shown that we use virtually every part of the brain and that most of the brain is active almost always. Brain hacking is not about accessing a dormant part of your brain but optimizing how you use it.

Many professionals often feel overwhelmed managing extensive projects and events. These tasks require much mental capacity, and these professionals might often feel like they’re running on empty. So, how can they keep their mental energy levels high?

The key is to understand and tap into your brain’s vast potential. There’s a world of books out there that can teach you how to ‘hack’ your brain for better performance. I’ve gathered the top 10 books that will help you better understand your brain and how to optimize its capabilities.

Books on Brain Hacking

  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman – Nobel laureate Kahneman explores the two systems that drive our thought processes.

  • Your Brain at Work by David Rock – Rock gives insights into improving workplace performance by understanding neuroscience.

  • Brain Rules by John Medina – Medina’s book provides 12 rules for surviving and thriving at work, home, and school.

  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – Duhigg explores how habits work and can be changed.

  • Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman – Goleman argues that emotional intelligence can be as crucial as IQ in determining personal and professional success.

One example of the power of these techniques can be seen in a Harvard Business Review case study. It followed a group of managers who implemented brain-hacking strategies from the abovementioned books. As a result, they reported increased productivity, better decision-making, and improved team dynamics.

Productivity Tips

In a brain-optimized workplace, employees understand and employ brain-hacking techniques. Incorporating strategies like promoting a growth mindset, understanding individual habits, and leveraging emotional intelligence can profoundly impact productivity.

Did you know our brains have a ‘plastic’ quality that allows them to adapt and change? This concept, known as neuroplasticity, suggests that the brain can rewire itself to enhance its functions. Applying the principles mentioned in the books, you can reshape your brain to become more efficient and productive.

So, why bother with brain hacking? Benefits include improved memory, better decision-making, increased focus and productivity, enhanced creativity, and greater emotional intelligence. Don’t you think these are qualities worth pursuing? 

Numerous studies, like the one published in “Nature Neuroscience” in 2012, show how activities like meditation can change the brain’s structure, improving areas responsible for memory, empathy, and stress regulation. These findings further solidify the value of brain-hacking techniques.

Process Steps for Better Brain Hacking

To start your brain-hacking journey, follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose a book from the list above.
  2. Implement one concept or strategy from the text into your life.
  3. Regularly reflect on the impact of the implemented change.
  4. Repeat the process with a new book, ideas or strategies.

Isn’t it time you tapped into the full potential of your mind? Why not pick one of the books from the list and start your journey toward brain optimization today? Remember, the first step is always the hardest, but with these resources, you’re not walking the path alone.

Unleash your brain’s potential, and see the difference it makes in your work, relationships, and life. Happy reading, and happy brain hacking!

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Brain Hacks

Brain Hacks for Anxiety Relief

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For many professionals, the pressure of their daily responsibilities can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Not only will anxiety make it more difficult for you to perform your duties, but it’s also terrible for your health. To succeed in the modern business landscape, you need to make clear-headed decisions, so check out these three simple brain hacks to reduce anxiety and take back control of your life.

Keep a Journal

Writing about your troubles can be extremely cathartic and provide much-needed context for your negative feelings. In a 2018 study, subjects reported decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression after a month of recording daily journal entries. The patients in the study only had to write for 15 minutes per day to see significant mental health benefits. Clearly, journaling is one of the quickest and easiest methods for anyone to tackle their anxiety, so you should try to set aside a little time every day to write about your feelings.

Meditate

Meditation is a straightforward yet effective way to reduce anxiety and clear your mind. To meditate, you simply need to sit upright, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing as you let your thoughts wander. According to a recent study, employees who meditated for just 10 minutes per day claimed to feel less stress and anxiety after a 16-week period. This makes daily meditation one of the most feasible brain hacks for the busy entrepreneur.

Exercise

Cardio, resistance training, and most other kinds of exercise release endorphins and other stress-relieving hormones. Because of this, people who exercise often tend to feel less anxious. If you want to get the most out of your workouts, then you should consider incorporating high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your workout routine. Researchers have found that six 40-minute HIIT sessions per week can significantly reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Although HIIT was found to be more beneficial than other types of exercise, any workout will reduce anxiety to some extent. The most important thing is finding a workout plan that you can stick to.

Don’t Let Anxiety Hinder Your Success

Stress and anxiety can make life extremely difficult and hamper your workplace performance. Fortunately, using even one of these easy brain hacks will help you feel happier and more confident. Life’s too short to struggle with anxiety and other negative feelings, so check out our other guides on neuroscience and productivity if you want to overcome stress while achieving more at work.

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Brain Hacks

Brain Hacks to Develop Your Empathy

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Empathy is the ability to step into another person’s emotional state of mind and understand how they feel. Why does empathy matter? As a leader, you can inspire loyalty and commitment when you show that you empathize with your team members. Leaders who inspire others are productive high achievers. If you aspire to that level of success, empathy will help you get there. 

Psychologists and neuroscientists have discovered that empathy is a skill you can develop by rewiring your thinking. How do you do that? These brain hacks how learn empathy will get you started.

Spend Time Around Different Kinds of People

One of the best ways to stretch yourself emotionally is to step outside your social circle. Spend time with people who have diverse backgrounds, cultures, and views about life. According to relationship expert Chase Amante, “By exposing yourself to various kinds of people, you challenge your preset notions, make it increasingly difficult to remain removed and judgmental, and humanize people who were previously only stereotypes to you.”

Every time you challenge your own thinking, you grow emotionally and intellectually. Spending time around new people and actively engaging with them will make you a better leader.

Keep Your Brain Strong

Your brain controls your thoughts and feelings. How do you keep it sharp for a lifetime? Neuroscientist Tej Tadi, the founder of MindMaze, offers five simple hacks for keeping your brain healthy. 

• Discover which learning style works for you, and use it.
• Keep learning: Your brain is flexible and strong. It can keep learning if you continue stretching yourself to learn new things.
• Get regular exercise: Exercise releases endorphins and other feel-good hormones, which will help your brain become more emotionally aware.
• Develop empathy and awareness of others: Active listening will fire up your brain cells.
• Regulate your emotional reactions: Learn to handle your emotional reactions to stress and fear. Never let emotions override your logic.

Practice Being Compassionate

Empathy alone is not enough. While empathy for positive emotions can enhance your life by increasing your ability to feel joy and pleasure, there is a downside. Too much emotional empathy for negative emotions can lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression. If you doubt that, consider the way you feel after watching a string of sad news reports on TV. This leads to a condition that is sometimes called “compassion fatigue.”

According to researchers at Ireland’s Royal College of Surgeons, however, the term “compassion fatigue” is a misnomer. Compassion is distinct from empathy because it helps us feel a need to help people without actively feeling their pain. Why does this matter?

“The distinction is important because it turns out that compassion is the antidote to the distress we feel when we empathize with people who are suffering. We need less empathy and more compassion.”

Inspire Others and Realize Your Goals

Hack your brain by developing your empathy and compassion, keeping your brain strong, and learning to regulate your emotions. At the Leonard Productivity Institute, we use findings from neuroscience to create programs that help everyone become more productive. To learn more, contact us.

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Brain Hacks

How To Hack Your Brain with Paraliminals?

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Humans are always learning. Evolution confirms that humans are programmed toward a curious nature. Also, people learn from their mistakes. They search for things that give them pleasure and avoid the things that cause pain. As humans continue to search for and find happiness, particular brain wave frequencies are activated. This inspires humans to continue looking for rewarding stimuli. 

Learning is a Core Skill 

Modern companies consider learning to be a core skill. Research has determined that people who are creative, excel at problem solving and exhibit empathy tend to learn faster than others. How do you take advantage of the way that people learn to work smarter, faster and more efficiently? You can hack your brain using paraliminals. 

What are Paraliminals? 

Paraliminals are a CD system that helps you hack the brain. Each CD comes with a small set of instructions. Read through them first. Then, set aside about 20 minutes to listen to the CD. Listen with your eyes closed and using headphones. The first CD will help you become more focused and effective in your life. The follow up CDs focus on overcoming anxiety, improving your confidence, managing your health and handling relationships. Currently, there are 34 paraliminals. 

Paraliminals are different than subliminal messages. While listening to a CD, you’ll be hearing two things at the same time. Sound frequencies that affect the brain can help you tap into unknown potential. For instance, one voice will be reciting a short story while the other voice will be stating positive affirmations. 

When you begin, you may find it challenging and confusing to attempt to follow two voices simultaneously and pay attention to what they are telling you. However, once you’ve listened to several of the CDs, you’ll begin to relax, and the words will float over you like a gentle breeze. While your conscious mind is likely to notice a few snippets of what the CDs are saying, your subconscious mind is taking it all in. 

How to Hack Your Brain for More Potential 

In most cases, brain inference happens because there’s too much going on in one area of the brain. This is important for humans to survive, but if one area is too active, then it may interfere with your potential. 

Along with using paraliminals, consider starting a mindful meditation practice. Every human brain comes with a default mode network. This mode interferes with mindful meditation because it is a dominate part of the brain that constantly generates thoughts. This is why some people chant the sound of “om” when they meditate. The “om” sound is one of the sound frequencies that affect the brain. Mindful meditation can switch your brain out of its default mode network and help you tap into its full potential. 

The Power of Your Brain 

How to hack your brain for more potential? Set aside time to listen to paraliminals and modify your brain wave frequencies. When you hack your brain to learn better and faster, you’ll improve your performance and become more innovative. At the Productivity Intelligence Institute, I can help you develop your management skills. Contact me to learn more today. 

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Brain Hacks

Brain Hacks To Be More Decisive

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Some people are natural decision makers while others struggle with the task. The good news is that there are ways to encourage yourself to choose a course of action. Brain hacks to be more decisive include: 

• Getting rid of multiple options 
• Keeping your decisions changeable 
• Clarifying your priorities 
• Knowing that you don’t have to be perfect 

Eliminate Different Options 

If you’re looking at a large number of options, it is much harder to make a decision. According to one brain study, people generally decide to buy fancy jams when they’re offered a limited number of choices instead of a large selection. 

Keep in mind that people love stories. Along with this, humans are comfortable working inside a narrative system that makes sense to them. This means that people search for a place in their story for the choices that they’ve made. 

When you need to make a decision, narrow your choices down as much as possible. Then, give the remaining options a score based on their level of importance. To make it easy, score your choices on a scale of one to 10. Make impermanent decisions based on your instincts using the best information that you have available. 

Keep Things Changeable 

One of the most challenging parts of decision making is measuring the possible results. Making the right decision in every situation is basically impossible, and it includes considering previous beliefs and collected evidence. 

Since you’ll be unable to predict the outcome of your decision accurately, keep an eye out for prospects that let you change your mind if needed. For instance, ask about a trial period that lets you try something out before purchasing it. Also, consider why, how and what you’re making decisions about. 

Clarify Your Priorities 

Make sure that you have a clear understanding of the decision that you’re tasked to make. Review what you are trying to do with the decision. For example, maybe you’re thinking about moving to a different city. Consider what part of the move is the most important element. Do you want to move for better job options or to be near your family? Will a move to a different city be more affordable or will you be closer to your best friends? 

Use this information to make the best decision. You know that you’re in charge of your decisions, but often, people who are poor decision makers tend to head down the path of least resistance. They do this without knowing it. 

Side-Step Perfection 

An inconvenient truth is that good decisions can result in poor outcomes and vice versa. Anytime the outcome of a decision is somewhat propelled by randomness, the connection between the right thing and a good result is disrupted. Try to make the best choice that you can using the information that you have. Afterward, release it. Brain hacks include accepting that good enough can be the right thing. Also, give yourself permission to break out of the status quo system. While you are the one who is responsible for your choices, the outcomes are often out of your hands. 

Become a Better Decision Maker 

Brain hacks can help you become the confident decision maker that you’ve always wanted to be. If you need support or guidance, then contact me at the Productivity Intelligence Institute. 

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Brain Hacks

Brain Hack Secrets for Productivity Professionals

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How do people achieve success? According to research, successful people develop a vision, continue to try after failing and are honest. Along with these positive characteristics, people can become successful in life with brain hacking. Here are seven hack secrets to train your brain for success. 

1. Think About Tomorrow Today 

Successful people prepare for the next day before they leave the office. Before leaving work, or logging out from your computer at home, take about 10 minutes to prepare for tomorrow. Make a list of the top three things or projects that need your attention the most the following workday. 

Sort your tasks to determine what you can complete quickly. Then, do them first the next day. This will eliminate them and free your brain to focus on the things that are more important. 

2. It’s Okay to Say No 

Become comfortable saying no to limit your obligations. This allows you to focus on the important stuff. People who struggle to say no often experience depression, burnout and added stress. Steve Jobs once said, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on, but that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are.” 

3. Make Time for Your Health 

When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins. This helps your brain solve problems more effectively and helps with creativity. You can also hack your brain with meditation. Those who meditate enjoy inner calm, which works to break down the brain’s mental walls or emotional limitations. 

Eat a diet that’s filled with omega-3s and good fats. Including these nutrients in your diet will ensure that your brain’s dopamine levels remain active. It will also boost your cerebral circulation. 

Make sleep a priority. Try to get 6 ½ to 8 hours of quality sleep each night. Good sleep will help you be more alert and attentive. 

4. Embrace Feedback Loops 

In management, it’s important to embrace feedback loops. Look at your results and consider ways you could have improved them. Do this even if your results were successful. This brain hack will help you achieve even greater results for your next project. 

Become comfortable questioning yourself. Also, be open to feedback from others. Pursue preferably adverse feedback. This is always hard to hear, and it will be hurtful, but you’ll likely benefit the most from it. 

Take steps to hire people who have the skills and training to give you consistent and honest feedback. Tighten your feedback loop as much as you can for greater efficiency and speedier implementation. That way, you’ll be able to create a better overall product or service. 

Workplace-Jazz-Course

Create teams that quickly get results and build a harmonious workplace with the 8-step Workplace Jazz method, with behind-the-scenes improvisation secrets that integrate productivity, workplace culture, music, and neuroscience to help your team achieve peak performance.

5. Keep a Consistent Work Schedule 

Hack your brain by creating a consistent work schedule. The brain loves a schedule, and when you choose work hours, you’ll be conditioning your brain to prepare to work at certain times of the day. You don’t have to work in full 8-hour blocks if your management job doesn’t require you to. 

If you’re working from home, consider splitting your day up into two sections. For instance, work from 9 am until 2 pm, and then, take some time to do something for you or your family. Complete your additional hours toward the late afternoon or early evening. The brain hack is to keep it consistent each day. 

6. Know Your Brain 

The human brain attaches to the spinal cord. The reticular activating system, or RAS, is located at the base. This part of the brain manages cognition. It is also responsible for filtering out around eight million pieces of information that enter the brain. Basically, the RAS gets rid of the white noise. When a message filters through your brain’s RAS, it is sent to the cerebrum where the message is categorized as a conscious thought, emotion or both. 

What messages are sent to your cerebrum? Any messages that are important to you will be allowed to enter your cerebrum. For instance, if you are preparing a presentation, then the RAS will permit thoughts that will help make it successful such as resources that will work to make your presentation memorable. 

Familiarize yourself with your brain’s fundamental cognitive functions and harness them for your productive needs. These functions are your: 

• Reasoning skills 
• Problem-solving abilities 
• Knack for planning 
• Execution expertise 

These functions are the perfect mixture for workplace productivity. However, the brain works best when you simplify things. While multitasking is often touted as a great ability, when you try to do several things at once, you’re holding your brain in a processing mode instead of in a thinking one. Decrease your choices as much as possible. 

Keep in mind that the brain’s neurotransmitters drop in the mid-afternoon, which is another reason to start each day with your most challenging tasks. 

7. Energize Properly 

Brain hacking involves staying energized and excited about projects while avoiding overstimulation. If you’re not excited about a task, then you probably won’t do it very well. On the other hand, when you start getting close to a deadline, you become more energized to reach it. 

Keep in mind that you can become too energized, which may harm your performance. Some stress is helpful, but too much can cause the kind of anxiety that will hurt you. Try to keep yourself near the tip of being energized but not overstimulated. 

Brain Hack Secrets for Success 

Take advantage of how your brain works by keeping your goals near the top of your mind. Document your goals each day, visualize what you want to happen and stick to a schedule. When you follow these steps, your subconscious mind will continue working toward achieving them. For guidance on how to hack your brain to achieve success, contact us at the Productivity Intelligence Institute. We work to help managers gain positive results for their companies.  

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Brain Hacks

What is the difference between the subconscious and the unconscious?

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Subconscious and unconscious are similar terms that are often used interchangeably. In fact, you can compare the two words to suppression and repression.  

Your subconscious, or unconscious, is what keeps you alive. It is a body system that never rests. The subconscious, or unconscious, is what keeps your heart beating, your blood moving throughout your body and your digestive system functioning. The subconscious manages all of your body’s vital processes and important functions. 

What is the Unconscious Mind? 

The unconscious mind is the part of your thinking process that inhibits highly unpleasant memories. It basically hides them from your conscious thought. According to one author, the unconscious part of the mind hides “socially unacceptable ideas, wishes and desires, traumatic memories and painful emotions that have been repressed.” 

How can you control your subconscious to become more successful in your personal and professional life? Here are five tips. 

1. Notice and Block Negative Self-Talk 

Kids usually learn things by repeating what they’re told out loud. This is something that people continue doing. They just start saying it to themselves in their heads instead. Most adults have an endless inner monologue. Research shows that an estimated 95% of the thinking and cognition that people use to make decisions happen at the unconscious level. 

Your inner monologue can say good things or negative things. If you’re struggling to complete a job or learn a new skill, your inner monologue may be a stream of negative thoughts. First, notice when you’re thinking something negative about yourself and stop it. Then, think something positive. Over time, it will become automatic, but you will need to practice this technique. 

Along with not letting your own negative self-talk depress you, don’t let other people’s negative thoughts affect you either. Don’t permit another person to block your productivity. It is time to stop caring what others think about you or what you want to do. 

2. Begin Each Day with a Daily Affirmation

People often make good intuitive decisions when they’re not functioning at their highest level. This means that in some cases, conscious thought seems to get in the way of good decisions. Letting the unconscious mind weigh in on decisions might help you make better ones. 

Begin every day by telling yourself out loud that you have what it takes to be successful today. The more you do this, the more your subconscious mind will believe you. You’re planting a seed in your unconscious. 

Choose something simple like “Each day, I’m becoming better.” Another option is the Metta Prayer, which is “May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I be at peace.” 

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3. End Each Day with an Intention 

Thomas Edison said, “Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.” One thing that many successful people do is intentionally direct their subconscious during times of rest. 

Before you go to bed, take about 10 minutes to meditate on what you want to accomplish tomorrow and in general. If you’re not sure where to start, ask yourself a few questions that relate to your goals. Write them down and be as specific as possible. Once you fall asleep, your subconscious will begin figuring out what to do. 

According to research, the creative part of your brain is at its best when you first wake up. During sleep, your subconscious strolls around your mind figuring things out. Creativity is the process of forming connections between different areas of your brain. Often, your brain is best able to be creative after quality sleep. 

Keep a journal on your nightstand, and when you wake up, take 10 minutes to write down as many of your thoughts as you can. This type of thought drop can help you connect to a higher level of clarity, creativity and learning. 

4. Give Yourself Time to Relax 

People often have their greatest thoughts at unusual times when they’re not even trying to have an amazing idea. These ideas might come when you’re taking a shower or driving home from work. When you have a great idea during an unexpected activity, use your phone to take a few notes. 

Once you start working at managing your subconscious thoughts, your brain will begin coming up with more creative solutions. Researchers have discovered that people form better decisions when they use both unconscious and conscious thought. 

5. Realize that Many Decisions are Unconscious Ones 

You might think that your purchasing decisions are conscious choices, but most of these decisions come from the subconscious mind. Buying urges are usually driven by emotion. This is the case in other things as well. 

Humans have a number of unconscious biases, ones that they are unaware of. People usually have an affinity bias, which means that they subconsciously like some people more than others based on similar backgrounds or character traits. 

Cultural bias is another unconscious element that people experience. In this case, humans stereotype one another according to where they’re from without considering their talents or how they actually perform. 

Confirmation bias can also impact your decisions at the unconscious, or subconscious, level. When confirmation bias happens, it allows you to go along with something even if you have misgivings just because everyone else approves.  

Biases cause problems in the workplace. Unconscious bias can cloud your judgment and cause you to make choices that could negatively impact your career or your personal life. Take the time to discover your unconscious biases and get rid of them. Doing so will help you create a workplace that’s more productive. 

Get Where You Want to Go 

Becoming acquainted with the workings of your inner mind can help you get where you want to go in both your personal and professional life. If you need help with direction, contact us at the Productivity Intelligence Institute. We can help. 

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Brain Hacks

Is Your Brain Motivating You or Holding You Back?

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What Motivates You? According to researchers from the nation’s top schools, there is an element of the brain that prevents people from tapping into their full potential. Instead of being programmed to achieve success, your brain is wired for basic survival, and this can prevent you from navigating change to reach your goals.

When Your Brain Is Stuck in Survival Mode

When the brain is in survival mode, it shifts into a condition referred to as negative bias, which is focusing on negative things more than positive ones. With negative bias, you’ll feel more emotional pain from rejection than joy following a compliment.

You’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to be stuck in survival mode. You can rewire your brain to focus on maximum success. Keep in mind that when you’re dealing with negative bias, it will diminish your chances of reaching a higher level of achievement.

You can be optimistic and positive about your future, but at some point, it’s likely that you will sabotage yourself by allowing your brain to keep you from going all-in on one of your dreams. When your brain is in survival mode, your uncertainties and fears overcome your inner dreams and desires, resulting in good ideas becoming disasters.

Shifting the Brain Out of Its Negative Bias

The trick to gaining access to your full potential is to replace the incapacitating negatives that you experience on a regular basis with ones that are positive. It takes practice to do this initially, but it gets easier and more automatic as you work at it.

The first step is to realize that you have a negative thought. Then, replace it with something positive, an idea that will empower you and inspire you to reach success.

It’s likely that you’ve been invited to do something that you were unable to pick up easily. Did you continue to try it or give up and admit defeat? If you gave up, then your automatic mindset is one that is fixed. When you continue to think this way, it will be hard for you to accomplish your dreams. If you keep trying, then your mindset is in growth mode. This means that you believe that if you work at something hard enough and practice your skills more, then you can develop your abilities, making success possible.

Focus on a Single Goal

Your brain might be languishing in survival mode because you have too much happening in your life. When this happens, you probably feel tired and unmotivated. Notice if you have several goals that you’re trying to tackle at the same time. Eliminate one and focus on a single critical skill or goal.

While it might be tough to choose one skill or goal and give it your full attention, doing so will make it easier to shift out of your negative bias and put all of your brainpower toward one thing. After accomplishing your first goal, shift your attention to the next one on your list.

Find What Motivates You

There are many places where you might find inspiration. Look to people who have already achieved your goal. Read books, magazines, and blogs. You can also research success stories to pinpoint each step others took along the way. In addition, search for information about your goal on the internet. The internet is a great place to discover different paths to your goal.

Do You Let Yourself Off the Hook?

While it’s good for your mental health to avoid negative self-talk, if you let yourself off the hook too easily, you might need a little more stress to accomplish your goals. Try to create balance between emotional gliding and feeling overloaded. Positive stress can shift how you perceive the way things are. It also helps you avoid underperforming.

Are You Too Hard on Yourself?

On the other hand, if you’re too hard on yourself, it will be tough for you to get past negative thoughts and try new things that will help you grow and become successful. Often, when people experience a setback, they overreact. To see if you’re dealing with a setback in a way that’s healthy, consider how much the experience will matter to you a year from now. Then, plan your next step.

Don’t Let Your Brain Hold You Back

Successful people put a great deal of time and effort into improving their talents and leadership skills. There is a popular quote that says, “Sometimes later becomes never. Do it now.” Is your brain motivating you or holding you back? Once you’ve determined your brain’s mode, you can take steps toward achieving your goals.

At the Leonard Productivity Intelligence Institute, I can help you tap into your unique skill set. To learn more, contact me today.

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Brain Hacks

Using Neuroscience to Connect With Customers

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These days, companies spend a lot on their advertising campaigns to connect with customers and increase their profit margins. Too often, these efforts fail because advertising experts neglect to consider how a person’s brain reflects on a product. This means that too many marketing choices are made based on claimed replies or rationalized behaviors. A better way to connect with customers is to use neuroscience research.

Understanding the Consumer Mind

Harvard University psychologists developed the concept of neuromarketing more than 30 years ago. It is an area of marketing exploration that looks into the cognitive, affective, and sensorimotor is of a consumer’s response to marketing material. This approach centers around understanding how people think. Research shows that 95% of a person’s thinking happens in the subconscious mind. It also confirms that people activate their conscious thought process to rationalize their behavior.

Advertisers are now diving into their customers’ subconscious minds to learn how effective their products, marketing materials, website content, and mobile applications are. To do this, they are using techniques like electroencephalography (EEG), eye tracking, facial coding, and galvanic skin response.

EEG measures a brain’s electrical activity to determine whether someone is experiencing increased or decreased excitement levels. Eye-tracking involves using small cameras to detect where a person is looking and how hard they are focusing on something. Facial coding measures the transformations in a person’s facial expressions that are mostly indiscernible to the naked eye. This allows researchers to detect an emotional reaction. Galvanic skin response assesses skin conductance, which is the amount of sweat a person is expelling, observing physiological stimulation to something happening externally.

Consumer Response to Marketing Messages

When neuroscience methods are used accurately, they should give a marketing team a way to develop advanced user interfaces and access real customer experiences. Companies can use EEG, facial coding, and eye-tracking to determine what their customers need to personalize their products and services.

How are companies using this technology? Frito-Lay completed a study to understand why people love Cheetos. The company used EEG in the research and found that people enjoyed how the orange dust coated their fingers and turned them the same shade. Frito-Lay used this information to point out how cheesy Cheetos are in their ads, resulting in higher sales.

eBay did a similar study to help with its marketing efforts. For the research, the company shared its e-commerce offering with participants and tested their brain wave activity. The study found that eBay customers consider speed to be the most critical part of its service. This allowed eBay to focus on how to increase payment speed for different e-commerce sites.

Companies are using functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning (fMRI) to measure and map brain activity. The technology uses a powerful magnetic field combined with radio waves to form customer journeys when viewing an advertisement or trying a product. Customer journey maps show you where and when the brain experienced something positive.

Consumers Don’t Understand Their Buying Tendencies

Barbara O’Connell from Milward Brown, a multinational market research firm, said, “Consumers aren’t very good at telling us why they buy what they buy.” For instance, some elements are essential to purchasing that consumers aren’t consciously aware of, including whether a product or service is modern, fun, convenient, and cool. However, people often report that affordability is the most crucial factor when asked about essential elements even though their buying behavior says otherwise.

Study the Brain to Improve Training

You can also improve customer service skills with brain study. Several neuroscience studies have assessed language to determine its importance in different forms like written, spoken, and video. This can help you review how useful your company’s training material is to lower new hire costs and save time.

This step will allow you to confirm whether you’re using the best material for the kind of training you have. You can also use brain studies to implement the best practices for your business. You might need a system, online or classroom training. Knowing more about neuroscience will allow you to deliver your company’s training material more effectively with better analogies, language, and storytelling.

Increase Profits and Customer Satisfaction With Tech Advancements

Understanding neuroscience for higher profits and better customer satisfaction has its challenges, but figuring out how people think to gain new insight is invaluable. At the Leonard Productivity Intelligence Institute, I work to help project managers operate as effectively as possible. Contact me today to learn how I can assist you.

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Brain Hacks

Using Your Brain to Improve Your Project Management Skills

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Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “Work smarter, not harder.” One way to do that is to learn how to use more of your brain. If you’re a project manager, you can employ cultural neuroscience to improve your management skills. Sound complicated? Don’t worry; the concept of cultural neuroscience can be used to simplify the problem-solving process.

Project Management

Project management involves leading a team of individuals to complete a particular project within a specified amount of time. Regardless of the type of project, there are specific skills every project manager must possess to complete their tasks successfully. Those include good time management skills, relationship management skills, and organizational awareness. Additionally, project managers must understand how their team members’ thoughts, emotions, and behaviors impact their productivity. Employing the concepts of cultural neuroscience helps project managers improve their project management skills.

Communication

Project managers must be able to communicate the scope and nature of the project effectively to those involved. Team members need clear direction concerning their roles and responsibilities. Stakeholders should receive status updates. As a project manager, controlling your emotions is essential. That doesn’t mean suppressing your feelings entirely. However, you should be aware that what you’re feeling affects your communication and how others react.

Time Management

Aside from handling scheduling, project managers need to keep meetings on track and manage their own time. When project managers become stressed, it affects their ability to make rational decisions. They can reduce stress by reprioritizing assignments and eliminating unnecessary tasks from their calendars.

Problem Solving

According to Harvard researchers, adult brains can still regenerate cells and make new connections. That means we are capable of change. This ability to change has allowed us to modify our brain’s biological makeup and how it functions to survive and operate effectively in society. It also means we can develop the necessary skills to handle increasingly complex and challenging problems and decisions.

Organizational Awareness

Because competing projects may require the same people and resources, project managers should become familiar with other projects occurring at the same time within their organization. People from different backgrounds respond differently to stress related to change based on their experiences. Project managers can use their awareness of these differences to proactively address potential concerns created by projects before they manifest in the form of an adverse cultural reaction.

Diplomacy

Cultural neuroscience exposes how culture influences empathy. People seem to be better at correctly identifying the emotions of members of their groups versus other groups. Individuals of different cultures recognize others’ feelings and infer others’ intentions. There is always the potential for personality clashes among team members. As a project manager, you should be prepared to negotiate the unexpected.

What Is Cultural Neuroscience?

Cultural neuroscience is an emerging component of leadership development of global project managers. Coined by researchers in 2007, the term cultural neuroscience refers to the growing body of research in cognitive and social neuroscience. Studies have demonstrated the degree to which culture influences how our brains process information. Behavioral project management involves integrating behavioral sciences and neuroscience with project management.

In discussing cultural neuroscience with PMtips, Carole Osterweil, an executive and project leadership coach and author, explains what she feels is essential for every project manager to know. First, they must understand that the primary goal of the human brain is to ensure survival. Anything that threatens that survival, whether physical or social, will trigger a fight or flight response. Understanding how the brain functions help us learn to manage our emotions. Project managers who can manage their feelings can better understand others’ motives and address factors that could affect others’ feelings.

Too many projects fail because project managers focus solely on the project’s technical aspect and don’t consider its cultural impact on the people and their environment. Behind every project are individuals making decisions motivated by behaviors and attitudes based on their cultural differences. As cultural neuroscience shows, project managers can develop the skills needed to mediate conflict and mend divides created by cultural differences.

Organizations must understand that today’s marketplace leaders can no longer concentrate their efforts on one geographical area. Competition is forcing companies to expand globally if they wish to remain relevant in today’s marketplace. Along with this global expansion comes a diversified marketplace involving people with varying viewpoints.

Project managers must possess people skills to lead initiatives properly. It’s essential to understand a project’s human and social implications and respect the people affected if you’re searching for new ways to improve your project management skills, reach out to the Leonard Productivity Intelligence Institute and check out Workplace Jazz: HOW TO IMPROVISE – 9 Steps to Creating High-Performing Agile Project Teams.

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