As the spokesperson for the FBI in Northern California, there were long stretches of the day when eating became hard to fit in, as were bathroom breaks. Each day was a full onslaught of updates on important cases, calls to return, emails to read, and interviews to schedule.
If you face busy days and tight deadlines, there are several ways neuroscience can help you to improve your day.
Humans have an amazing capacity to process complex information. Our brain can bring order out of chaos. It can place people, words, and behavior into patterns that make sense to us. Below is a paragraph that raced across the Internet a few years back:
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Brains have an attention filter that helps us find patterns in the information we see and hear. This helps us know what to pay attention to and what we can safely ignore. In the caveman days, it helped us be alert to predators. In the information age, it helps us identify data that impacts the way we live our life.
Several studies suggest that we now receive five times as much information as we did in 1986. Every day the average person processes six newspapers’ worth of information compared with just two and a half pages 24 years ago — a 200% increase.
All of this information is competing for resources in your brain. Here are 6 simple ways you can use neuroscience to improve your day:
1. Your Brain Wants You To Value What You Do
Dopamine is a chemical produced by the brain that can affect our performance because it shows up both when we anticipate a reward and when we’re motivated to perform. As a result, dopamine levels can be linked to motivation and our willingness to work.
A team of Vanderbilt scientists used brain-mapping technology to analyze the brain patterns of “go-getters” who were willing to work hard for…