Many people find it helpful to fix processes in their mind by mut-tering—speaking about their constituent elements out loud as they go through them. While this may seem a strange thing to do at work, don't worry! It's not as crazy as it seems at first and it gets results.

A good example of how this can operate is when you need to learn a new computer skill. Think for a moment of how often you ask someone to help you do something new. You do it once while they are there, anxious to get on with the task in hand and only half listening to what they are saying. Then they go back to their work and you are left on your own, It is a sure bet that, as soon as they have gone, you find that you can't remember how to do the new task. Next time this happens, say that you would like to talk the task through as you do it to help fix it in your memory: "I've opened my email. Now I am looking for x under they menu. Now I am going to check on z, etc." By muttering as you do something, you are continually reflecting on what you are doing, analyzing it, applying it, asking questions about it. This undoubtedly helps you develop a vocabulary to describe and then fix your learning in your mind.

There are two logical extensions of muttering: creative visualization and teaching.

Creative visualization enables you to anticipate new experiences by rehearsing them. This is widely used by athletes and theatrical performers. You close your eyes and imagine yourself going through the experience, mentally talking yourself through each stage. I find this especially helpful before:

♦ difficult meetings, when I rehearse different answers to possible reactions

♦ speeches or presentations, when I concentrate on the first few minutes of my talk and picture the audience in front of me, imagining different possible reactions

♦ any written assignment, when I imagine the story of my argument and then often scribble it down as a flowchart or mind map.

The second approach involves taking the idea of talking yourself through the experience one stage further. You put your memory to the test by teaching what you have learned to someone else. Anyone who has tried to do this knows that it is a very effective measure of how much you have retained yourself. Not only is this a good method of reinforcing your memory, it also sends out very positive signals about you as a manager and coach, taking time to value and share what you have learned. Obviously, this idea extends way beyond learning new computer skills.

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.

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