Advances in brain science give us a better sense of how we think and how we apply these insights to produce better results. Some of the findings are counterintuitive.
Consider creativity: Most leaders assume that they’re more apt to make breakthroughs when they’re alert and well rested. Wrong.
Research shows that you’re more creative when you’re exhausted. Why? Your brain doesn’t operate as efficiently when you’re tired; instead of filtering out distractions and sharpening your focus on a task, it softens up a bit. You’re more open to forge looser connections that you might not normally make.
At off-peak times when you struggle to focus, you may digest a wider range of information. This expanded scope provides access to more options and interpretations. Speaking of interpretation, there’s a reason that a picture is worth a thousand words. Your brain translates words into pictures, which makes vision of paramount importance in processing and retaining information. If you hear something, you’ll likely recall 10% of the message three days later. If you hear something and see an accompanying picture, you’ll remember 65%.
From simple illustrations to pie graphs to photos, your ability to combine words and pictures will heighten the odds that your message will sink in—and not fade away over time.
— Adapted from “10 Surprising Things That Benefit Our Brains That You Can Do Every Day,” Belle Beth Cooper.