Retraining Your Brain

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I’m considering changing the distribution day of my newsletter to Monday.  I haven’t officially decided yet.

Does anyone have a good reason for me not to? 

Now, to the newsletter:

Topic of the Week: Retraining Your Brain

Sometimes the craziest things are simple and elegant.

For example:

Several months ago I noticed my friend’s iPhone home screen looked like a rainbow.

Instead of grouping her apps into folders by functionality or another characteristic, she organized all her apps into folders based on the color of their icon.

I thought this was crazy. 

Sure, it looked pretty, but was a beautiful phone worth the reduction in productivity? It had to take longer to find apps with this insane organizational structure.

I asked her about this and to my surprise, she claimed to be more productive with this method.

I was skeptical, but it looked pretty, and I figured I’d run an experiment to see if she was right.  I could always revert to organizing apps by functionality.

This is now my home screen on my iPhone:

Here’s what I learned from this experiment.

When I first rearranged all my apps, it was pure chaos.  There were times when I would stare at my phone, unable to remember what it was I was trying to do, because my muscle memory tried to pull up Amazon, but Amazon wasn’t where it used to be.

However, within two days, my brain entirely retrained itself and I realized my friend was right. 

It was easier to find apps when they were organized this way. I was more productive. 

It always amazes me how quickly our brains can retrain themselves.  However, in this particular case, I don’t believe I retrained my brain at all. 

I freed my brain.  I enabled it to do what it was already trained to do. 

We’ve been staring at the same damn icons for years. The colors rarely change, so our brains already know that Instagram is pink and Facebook is blue. 

Forcing our brains to remember icons, then also remember which functional folder we stored them in, is an extra step for our brains.

I could go on for pages about the implications of this in product development, sales, marketing, project management, etc., but I’ve unfortunately run out of time today.  I’ll leave you with this question:

What else are we forcing our brains to do that seems perfectly logical, but adds an extra step? 

Have a great weekend everyone!

About the author

Danielle O'Rourke

Recovering Investor. Mom. Wife.

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Danielle O'Rourke

Recovering Investor. Mom. Wife.

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