Home » The Progressive Professional… A Guide for Quality Living – August 2018

The Progressive Professional… A Guide for Quality Living – August 2018

Welcome back! It’s hard to believe that summer (as far as the school break) is almost over. Some schools have started back already and others will follow in the next couple weeks. Hope your summer has been good and that you are enjoying life, creating new healthy habits and accomplishing more through increased productivity. For the past few months I’ve been focusing a lot on physical health, reducing stress, and taking control of your life. In this issue, I’m changing gears slightly to focus more on mental behaviors and their effect on your productivity.

In an article I read recently, a study at King’s College done in 2005 was cited. While the study is a little dated, I believe it had some very relevant points. The article talked about how in our “digital age” we have more things competing for our attention than ever before. While our byte-sized interactions are not only a detriment to our focus, concentration and productivity, they can also put our safety in jeopardy and, according to the study they’re also hurting our intelligence.

The study found that when distracted, workers suffer a 10-15 point IQ loss. This equates to a greater “dumbing down” than when smoking marijuana. A 15-point deficit drops an adult male down to the same IQ level as an 8-year-old child.

All the digital distractions of today coupled with the overwhelming amounts of data often lead to more stress in life with physical, emotional and even financial consequences. As you may already know, humans can’t really multitask. The brain just moves from one task to another quickly and, during that transition, often overlooks some of the small details that may really be important to the task at hand. Another trend that occurs is we see what we expect to see sometimes with an unconscious bias filtering the real facts.

The good news – there’s a simple way to avoid this added stress and protect our intelligence. All we need to do is SLOW DOWN! That doesn’t mean being slow, it means that we should take a few moments to think before doing; be aware of the details before acting; think about how we feel before we speak; and ask why things are happening the way they are before rushing to judgment or jumping to conclusions.

By slowing down and assessing the situation, we can avoid mistakes and thus rework and/or damage control, which are both a huge waste of time. As described by author Amy Herman in her book, Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life, visual intelligence is about the ability “to see what’s not there and should be, to see the positives and negatives, the opportunity, the invention, the upside, the warning signs, the quickest way, the way out, the win.” Slowing down will help us find the quickest way to the best solution.

This means we awaken our awareness by observing and asking questions (often of ourselves). What am I seeing? What are the true facts? Why is this causing the reaction I’m feeling? How are others responding to the situation? What’s the best course of action? How do I make the situation better? And, because we can easily process this information, it doesn’t take long to do this. By slowing down enough to observe and then remembering accurately and communicating clearly, we can always say what we mean and avoid saying what we don’t mean to say. Acting or speaking without doing this can quickly take things from bad to worse.

So, are you up to the test? If you want to test your visual intelligence, go to: http://www.visualintelligencebook.com/ and take the quiz! It’s fun, only takes a couple minutes and, will tell you just how observant you are.

Until next month when I’ll share how to enhance your brain health, stick with the plan, slow down and remember to focus on yourself first!