Caroline Webb is the CEO of Sevenshift, a firm that shows people how to use insights from behavioral science to improve their working life. She also authored the book “How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioural Science to Transform Your Working Life”. That book was listed as one of Forbes “must-read business books of 2016”; and listed by Inc as one of the best 15 leadership and personal development books of the past five years.
At the Discovery Leadership Summit this past Thursday, Caroline Webb shared 3 tweaks she uses every day to make it a better days and how anyone can do the same.
1. Shift reality in a positive direction
The conscious part of your brain can only process a limited amount of information at any given time. We have selected attention, most of what’s around us gets unconsciously filtered out – so we don’t get overloaded. It’s like looking at the world through a pair of binoculars and not seeing everything. Our brain directs our attention to things that match what’s already top of mind for us: Our aims, attitudes, and assumptions.
To reset your filters, Webb says you need to answer three questions
What’s your real aim?
Check your attitude and assumptions – are they serving your aim?
Where do you want to put your attention?
She also stressed that shifting your reality isn’t about standing in the mirror saying everything is awesome and willing it to be. Rather, it’s choosing what you see and focus on. When you see the good, that becomes top of mind and that’s what your mind starts focusing on and seeing more of.
2. Create more time in the day
How can we make time go further? The number one thing, according to Webb is to stop multitasking. When we try to do more than one thing at a time that requires conscious attention we are slower. Multi-tasking makes us slower, less accurate, less wise, less creative and more stressed.
When we single-task, we’re faster, wiser and calmer. It boosts our productivity and efficiency.
Most of the time we aren’t doing one thing at a time because we’re surrounded by emails, texts, social media. To reduce that noise Webb suggest doing the following
- Go offline: Find a way to unplug for your most important work. Using a timer helps track time away and gets you slowly used to doing one thing without distractions.
- Batch messages: By batching when you attend to messages, you get through them faster. Reply 2-3 times a day rather than as each comes in.
- Don’t rely on self-discipline: Make it easier to do the right thing by removing notifications, and distractions. Tweaking your environment makes it easier. She suggested using an App like Stay Focused which allows you to restrict access to certain websites that are a time drain.
3. Shift other people’s moods
Human beings, says Webb, are very leaky in their emotions. If one person is in a bad mood it seeps in and affects others. Our emotions are contagious, so project positive emotions to change the mood of those around you to a more positive one.
Help people behave better by assuming good person, bad circumstances. Consider what could have happened to put them in a mood and project positivity to change that.
The way we spend our days is the way we spend our lives, and by making each day a little happier our lives become happier.
The information here is taken from the talk “How to Have A Better Day” by Caroline Webb at the 2018 Discovery Leadership Summit.
Main Image: Discovery