Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

September 23, 2014

You’re Using Your Brain All Wrong.

If you find yourself struggling to be creative, it might be because you’re using your brain wrong. When was the last time you had one of those moments where you found yourself slapping your forehead saying: “I know I’m supposed to be remembering something”  or “What am I forgetting? I know I’m forgetting something…”?

Your brain has a limited capacity to remember things.

The front part of your brain — what you find yourself slapping when you need to remember something — stores memories anywhere from 10 seconds to 30 minutes. After that, your memories get shoved off to the back your brain. It gets worse. There is no one specific place that memories are stored and there aren’t any categories for locating what you want to remember. Usually, memories are just placed in the next open slot of brain matter.

It’s up to you to remember where it’s placed and what you put there.

Which is why you often find yourself struggling to remember what you’re supposed to be doing or what you’re forgetting.
A better use of your brain than remembering things is for creating things. Being innovative. Solving complex problems. That’s what your brain is built for.
If you spend all of your brain power trying to remember where you stored that last memory that you’re not even sure what it was, you’re not tapping your full potential.

You need a better plan if you plan on being awesome.

Use  smart tools to help you remember things. They are more reliable than your brain.
  1. As soon as you think of something that needs to be done, write it down. The few seconds it takes you to stop what you’re doing and record what’s on your mind is a much better trade off from forgetting about it altogether or wasting hours trying to remember .
  2. Set up alerts and notifications for important daily tasks or assignments that need to be done — and remind yourself of things that you want to get done. Good things get left undone because you’re not reminded to do them.
  3. Make it a habit to store all of your tasks, assignments, and things to be remembered in the same spot. Digital is usually the easiest place, but a notebook can be wildly helpful as well.

Replace your “thinker” with a better process.

When your brain gets busy, you wanted to be creating, innovating and solving complex problems — not trying to remember where you left your keys or who you need to follow up with and what their name was. It might not seem like it makes a big difference, but imagine the compounding effect of 365 days of creativity and breakthrough rather than a few odd hours here or there when you’re feeling lucky. Plan to be awesome — even when things get busy.

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.