Have you ever wished your ideas would flow more easily? Would you love to accomplish more with less mental strain? In this post, I’ll share one thing that helped me, and I’ll also include some other tips from my research. First, though, let’s dispel a common myth.
Our Amazing Brain
Have you heard of right-brain/left-brain dominance? It’s a common belief that the left side of the brain is solely for logical thinking and the right side of the brain is solely for creativity. But did you know that’s actually a myth? And while the two sides of our brain may be different, one side isn’t dominant over the other. There’s no such thing as being a “left-brained” or “right-brained” person, dictating whether we’re a creative person or a logical person.
Both sides of our brain work together as a complete unit—we can’t use only one side at time. Bundles of nerve fibers connect the left and right side, creating a strong communication network. There’s an intimate relationship between the two sides of our amazing brain!
Whether we perform creative or logical tasks, we process information with both sides at the same time. For example, the left side may lead in performing language tasks while the right side adds information about context and tone. The right side may initiate artistic expression while the left side adds symmetry or meaning. Both sides perform together.
So while it’s true that language is left-side-oriented and emotions are right-side-oriented, there’s no evidence to suggest that one side of a person’s brain is stronger than the other.
When we tap into both the logical and creative sides of our brain, we increase the communication between both sides of the brain. Here’s a simple, fun thing you can do to increase communication between the two sides of your brain and boost your productivity.
At a previous job, I used to be on the phone all day helping people resolve their computer problems. I used logic, but since we were on the phone, I had to visualize what they were seeing on their screen as they described it to me so I could instruct them on how to resolve the issue.
Tapping into both my brain’s logical side and creative side helped me be more effective and efficient. My close-rate was high, meaning I was almost always able to help the person resolve the issue and close the case.
One technique I used to help tap into both sides of my brain was to do tactile shape puzzles between calls or while on the phone. This helped me imagine what was happening on the other end of the phone because I was actively knocking on the creative door in my brain to open it up.
Tapping into both sides of your brain strengthens the connection to create deeper understanding and quicker responses.
Here are some other tips:
- Spend time every day reading, writing, or both.
- Keep learning—take a class or try to learn a new skill.
- Complete challenging crosswords, sudokus, or other puzzles.
- Play memory games, board games, or card games.
- Try a new hobby that requires focus, like learning a language or how to play a musical instrument.
Go ahead and try it—you’ve got nothing to lose, and you may have a bit of fun along the way!
What tiny goal can you set right now, just one small thing you can try?
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Video from the archives:
Neuroscience studies have shown that the two sides of our brain collaborate to perform a variety of tasks. The two hemispheres communicate through the corpus callosum.
Science writer Carl Zimmer explained in an article for Discover magazine: "The pop psychology notion of a left brain and a right brain doesn’t capture their intimate working relationship. The left hemisphere specializes in picking out the sounds that form words and working out the syntax of the phrase, for example, but it does not have a monopoly on language processing. The right hemisphere is more sensitive to the emotional features of language, tuning in to the slow rhythms of speech that carry intonation and stress.
Neuroscientists know that the hemispheres work together and that they do so by communicating through the corpus callosum. But exactly how the hemispheres cooperate is not so clear. Perhaps paired regions take turns being dominant. That is known to happen in some animals. For instance, dolphins use this strategy to sleep and swim at the same time: One hemisphere remains active for hours, then fades while the other takes over. Bird brains switch as well. In order to sing, a songbird makes the two sides of its lungs open and close. The two hemispheres of the bird’s brain take turns controlling the song, each dominating for a hundredth of a second.
The intimate cooperation between the two hemispheres makes it all the more remarkable that a person can survive with just one—a sign that the brain is far more malleable than we once thought. After a hemisphere is forced to manage on its own, it can rewire itself to handle all the tasks of a full brain. In fact, two hemispheres can cause more trouble than one if they cannot talk clearly to each other. Neuroscientists have linked some mental disorders, including dyslexia and Alzheimer’s, with a breakdown in left-right communication."
Discover Magazine By Carl Zimmer Aug 19, 2014
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