Tip: See For Yourself

Tip: See For Yourself

SmarterStep by StepCatch Problems Early Grasp Issues Quickly

Take Action Decisively

 

2 minutes each week to help you execute on your goals

from Jean Moroney

Issue #72
I. Tip: See for Yourself
II. Smarter Execution Workshop in NYC on May 16
III. Recent Posts on the Blog
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I. Tip: See for Yourself
Peter Bregman’s new book has a great title: Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Stop Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results You Want.
The book is a collection of essays, loosely organized, and all valuable. I got a lot out of it, in part because I used a process of “seeing for myself” as I read. Let me explain how that works, using the title essay, “Four Seconds,” as an example.
Bregman’s generalized point in that essay is an established one–that you need to pause when you feel a distracting impulse. Pause, so you can choose differently. This is the essence of self-control.
But Bregman doesn’t just say, “pause.” He says, “Pause. Breathe. Course Correct.” How long do you pause? Four seconds–“the time it takes to take one breath in, one breath out.”
When I first read this, I liked the idea of timing my pause. So, I decided to see for myself how his advice worked.
Surprise! I discovered that when I tell myself to “pause,” I often hold my breath. I needed to make a conscious choice to breathe in and out. And that seemed to make it easier to decide what to do.
In retrospect, when you hold your breath, your body tenses and your attention is drawn to anticipating your next inhale. This is distracting. You can’t think very well in this state.
To test this idea, I tried to do a random math problem while holding my breath. The problem was: 289 divided by 17.   I got 11 remainder 2. Only after I started breathing again, and redid the calculation in my head, did I realize my mistake. (The answer is 17. I never memorized the perfect squares, or this would have been too easy.)
My conclusion? When you breath in and out, your body relaxes, your attention is freed, and you can maintain normal activity, including normal cognitive activity.
This is not Bregman’s point, but it was a terrific insight for me, which integrated things I already knew with what he was saying.
My point is that if you’re reading step-by-step advice, from a clear, firsthanded book (such as Bregman’s), try it out. See for yourself. This is how you understand, integrate, and retain the best such a book has to offer.
Oh yes, and P.S. don’t hold your breath while you’re trying to think…or do math problems.
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II. Smarter Execution Workshop
My new all-day Smarter Execution Workshop will premiere in New York City on May 16.
There is a huge gap between having a great idea and getting something done. What bridges it is an action mentality, one that helps you execute on your goals, even when nothing goes as planned.
In this all-day workshop, you will learn a core set of tools to keep you focused on taking doable steps to achieve your goals, despite overload, uncertainty, and floundering. Read all about it here.
Curious about the new content? Join me for a FREE preview call on Saturday, April 25, at 12:00 noon Eastern. 

III. Recent Posts on the Blog

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(c) Jean Moroney
Thinking Directions

Thinking Directions

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#4-248
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thinkingdirections.comTel: 212-972-9495jm@thinkingdirections.com

 

Jean Moroney

Jean Moroney

About Jean Moroney: Ms. Moroney, President of Thinking Directions, teaches managers, small business owners, and other professionals how to be smarter as they execute on their goals by catching problems early, grasping issues quickly, and taking action decisively. Ms. Moroney received a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and worked as a system engineer, project manager, and software consultant for 10 years. She has an MS in Psychology from Carnegie-Mellon, and has been coaching and speaking on thinking skills since 1998. She has given her all- day flagship course, “Thinking Tactics” all over North America. Her corporate clients include Microsoft, Amazon.com, BB&T, and Canadian Bank Note Company. Thousands of people have benefited from her methods. Find out more at http://www.thinkingdirections.com and sign up for her freebie class: Jump Start Your Project: http://www.thinkingdirections.com/jumpstart.htm.

 

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