In video games, goals are 1. Well-defined – for instance, saving a princess or launching a bird at a pig. 2. Measurable – you receive a score. 3. Incremental – you have immediate goals that get you to the next level. 4. Feedback-supported -- you know the results of your actions right away. 5. Within a time-frame -- a timer is counting down or a jingle is playing. You move.Read More
According to the Speed-Accuracy Tradeoff (SAT), the precision of a response varies with the time taken to produce it. SATs impact all facets of human attention from common matters such as tweets to life-changing ones such as, well, taking the SATs.Read More
Here’s a mental strategy for when you want to say “no” to your Facebook newsfeed, your personal email, or the flatscreen TV that's calling to you. Focus on what you’re saying “yes” to, instead.
Prevent Mutiny of the Brain
When you think in terms of what you “have to” do – get this boring work done, face a dreaded task, be less sedentary – or what you “can’t” do – get on FB, hear news from friends, binge watch the series everyone’s talking about – your deprivation language awakens the rebel in you. Your brain declares mutiny and you’re stuck in a struggle.
When you say, “I choose” – to get this work done, conquer this odious task, get this body in motion – you’re in charge and unified. You're doing the right thing. Your brain cooperates.
Stay in the Driver’s Seat
Once you say, “I choose this, not that,” you shift your attention to your higher goal: “I want to feel accomplished today” . . . “I want to feel proud of myself.” . . . “I want a healthy, fit body.”
This mental action is called strategic allocation of attention. Turn inward when you use it and you can feel its power. Once you get started, you’ll find that you like how you feel. Goals attract us. You’ll notice the difference between driving in circles vs. getting where you want to go.