Welcome to episode ten of the BrainTree Podcast!

The hosts jump right in to this episodes discussion about the brain. Rocky kicks things off with a quote he likes about the brain being like a muscle. The hosts then move in to covering some research and statistics about the brain and how it works against us in achieving our goals. Too much fantasising about goals can actually hold us back from achieving those goals. Making more realistic goals is far more beneficial.

Of course don’t go too far in the other direction! Don’t fantasise about failures! Rocky shares some research about procrastination and how the brain holds on to information better when a task is incomplete and is more likely to forget details about a finished job. This is important in relation to procrastination as it means the brain is better focussed on a task that has been started than a large task that looms with the whole job still ahead.

Rocky also brings up that the brain will abandon ship at the first sign of distress. If you set milestones and you miss one then your brain’s response is to give up on the whole thing. The best way to combat this to examine what happened. Acknowledge your mistake, but refocus on the progress you have made already. Focus on the positive long-term benefits and not on the small mistakes. Cut yourself some slack!

The brain is also a sucker for mindless busy work disguised as progress. Prue gives an example of students rewriting their study notes over and over, but not actually learning. Finally, the brain is not good at improvising when it comes to productivity. Planning is essential to work and study. Rocky highlights an insight from the research where planning for the event of failure along the way helps the brain to cope with that failure and writing an “if-then” plan helps to get the plan on the right track. Having a penance for failures created more motivation and reduced the guilt of small failures.

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