Neuroplasticity: hacking a flexible mind II

Patricia Barata
neuroplasticity part 2
neuroplasticity part 2

For Part 1 we had a chance to understand neuroplasticity concepts and studies, how habits work, how stimulation and practice are important, and how motivation helps to beat procrastination. Let's jump into the practical side now.


Strategies or Brain Hacks

We’ll have a look at some strategies to overcome procrastination, techniques for your tasks and ideas that can help personally or professionally:

  • Repeat what we like, avoid what we dislike. Take a full 30 days to experiment that repetition by planning it in advance and see how the reward and craving works. Video games mastered this (for example with Pokemon, by anticipating and craving “the next one to catch them all’)
  • Visualisation: visualize doing the activity avoided (or the new one) and make it a best-case scenario, feel the positiveness accomplished and finish it. Or create compelling vision by projecting yourself in the future state like that short video clip style and hold on to it in your head. That's the fuel. And use the 5 senses, make it as vivid as possible. The real power of the technique: visualize a new memory to use it when you need to react in similar situations you’ve been through. it overrides the new wiring and develops new memory (it’s not sci-fi, the brain doesn’t make the distinction between real one and implanted one)
  • Gamifying activity: create levels to pass or something to beat, earn points along the way. Just be careful by not choosing only sweets rewards.
  • Lists: check them off, collect small bit sizes to organize yourself and get used to it.
  • Motivation bundle: to do the task needed together with something you like (music while working is a basic example)
  • Look on the bright side of life. Anticipating something as a problem should be seen on the opposite side, to focus on the good thing. Be mindful.
  • By wording: “I really should be doing this” does not work. “I’m doing it right now!” action-driven, can only be resolved with action. Basically, the body will follow!
  • Create a vision board: photo montage and words work as a reminder. Remember the 80’s where all the musical idols would be represented in a kid’s bedroom? Adults forgot how to use this technique. Make it irresistible!

Vision board

Actually to procrastinate is the perfect occasion for our unconscious being more creative and find solutions. Use it as an advantage time.


Contextual strategies

We are influenced by everything around us as well the quality of social contacts that makes us happy about our lives or not.

  • To Team up or having a Buddy system helps to move on with the task and with whom to celebrate with
  • Action takers: we are the average of the 5 people who we spend more time with. So if we surround with people who take action, we will be more likely to take action.
  • No temptation: make it hard to get into temptation, there’s no other way. It helps to reduce the “stress” and multitask needed since the trigger moment. Mobile in a meeting? You know what happens.
  • Change your environment: detect repetitive patterns and break them by changing the environment, the brain takes notice of the changes and will strengthen them.


Neuroplasticity and Neuro Linguistic Program

Neuro-Linguistic Program (NLP) complements the effectiveness of the brain work. NLP’s history is rooted in therapy and today NLP can help to encourage new thinking and choice making, as a tool for changing paradigms (or ways of thinking), understanding others and building social cohesion.

NLP provides people with a methodology to model outstanding performances. A key element of NLP is that we form our unique internal mental maps of the world as a product of the way we filter and perceive information absorbed through our five senses from the world around us.
Several personalities have Life or Sports Coaches using this type of methodology behind all that work done, did you know? 

Design Thinking is a human-centred approach and process, where designers put themselves in a position of using toolkit elements such as experimentation and empathy to achieve innovation.
And because dedicated repetition is the secret to habits and neuroplasticity, by creating a rich environment with the human approach (empathy), the comfort zone will crumble by itself. The Dynamic Balance of Creativity to solve a problem the following concepts:

  • Divergent Thinking is when we generate lots of options, and by the time we need to funnel them comes the Convergent Thinking of evaluating options, making a decision. The secret to creating new ideas, however, is to separate your divergent thinking from your convergent thinking.
  • Brainstorming: it generates lots of ideas in a clean, divergent method, that can be done as an individual, group, or crowd-sharing process.
  • Ask Problems as Questions: Statements tend to generate limited or no response at all. So questions generate lots of rich information.
     

Teamwork

We at Monsoon Consulting mix teams for different projects, putting them in different contextual brainstorming sessions and desks, allowing new habits and communication to be created. For a specific cognitive problem-solving style it is been shown that having a personality factor of “openness to experience” (or problem-solving) perform better on creativity tasks, so team diversity and abilities for more critical compositions are important.

Touchdown

We often use as well, internally, terms as “engage” or “understand” and “resolve” while communicating. By means, is dismantling a ‘brain’ puzzle presenting a better experience to a user (as a redesign rewires an old habit) or suggesting innovative products (new wiring connections), empathising with the users for better results.

 

Patricia Barata

Patricia Barata,

UI / UX Designer