Give your prefrontal cortex the respect it deserves

By William Seidman Neurological and psychological research have turned up some really interesting things. The prefrontal cortex is key to effective thinking, organization, logic and analysis but the prefrontal cortex gets overloaded and shuts down.  Our minds are capable of prioritizing thinking but, often, we don’t know that we can — or that we must. The prefrontal cortex is at its most efficient when handling one task at a time. Distractions are bad for thinking.  Really. This is why, for example, you might easily convert the value of dollars to Euros to rupees, but try it while simultaneously planning your next meeting and your mind shuts down.  Even though you may be competent at each operation, tried simultaneously they are much, much harder to do – if you can pull it off at all.  For the positive deviant, the social good is often the overarching guide to prioritization; everything else is organized around that.  So I guide people to define what “social good” means to them, and to their lives.  Once they define it, other vitally important “priorities” often fall into place.]]>

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