How to Have a Good Day – Caroline Webb Book Summary

How to Have a Good Day – Caroline Webb | Free Book Summary

How to Have a Good Day – Caroline Webb

Hacking your mind for productivity.

Planning Deliberate Downtime

Your brain’s deliberate system needs regular breaks to keep it fully functional. When tired, we are more likely to make poorer decisions.

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Allow your brain a chance to step back and consolidate the experience. Plan for breaks between “zones” in your day. Refresh your mind after every ninety minutes.

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Resolving Tensions: Find Common Ground

If you disagree on something:

Articulate the other person’s perspective as if you truly believe it.

Identify what you both agree on.

Isolate the real disagreement; explore how you could both be right.

Decide what you can do based on what you agree on.

Assume “Good person, Bad Circumstances”

People are often good, but their circumstances can change how they come out.

Get clear on the “true facts”: what you know for sure. Then assume that the other person has good intent, and imagine the circumstances that could be causing his or her behavior.

Three Ways To Give Brain-Friendly Feedback

Use one or more of these three techniques next time you want to provide input or challenge someone’s ideas: 

  •  “What I like(d) about that is…” and “What would make me like it even more is…” 
  •  “Yes, and…” (rather than “Yes, but…”). 
  •  “What would need to be true to make that work?”

The Einstellung Effect

Having an existing solution in mind makes it harder for us to see a radically different but better way to solve our problem.

So if what we want is new thinking, we need to help our brains get out of a rut and stimulate lots of new connections.

The brain’s deliberate system likes to take shortcuts. Take note of when that is happening. 

Signs of your brain taking shortcuts are statements like “It’s obviously right [or obviously wrong].” “I recently heard XYZ…therefore…” “Everyone agrees.” “I understand it—so I like it!” “Let’s just stick with what we know.” “There’s only one real option.”

To Think As Clearly As Possible

Think of something positive before getting into the tough stuff. 

Break a complex task down into its constituent parts, step by step, to allow you to focus on one thing at a time and reduce the load on your brain. 

Imagine parts of your problem as people.

Look after the smart basics. Surround yourself with cues that you associate with good thinking; don’t skimp on sleep; do some physical activity.

Getting Through Filters

Getting a message through to other people can be hard because other people’s automatic systems get in the way.

Provide a reward or a dose of intrigue as you communicate. The human brain craves new things.

Experiment with different mediums for your information. Use visuals, charts, and everything else that you can think of to stimulate the mind. Present your information from a different vantage point.

Making Things Happen

  • When you want people to do something for you, give them a brief reason. 
  • Make it easier for people to choose by providing them with mental shortcuts. Ask yourself: “How can I make it easier for people to solve a particular problem?”
  • You can also nudge people by providing visual hints for the outcome that you want. To get people on board with what you want, paint a clear picture of the benefits.
  • Don’t assume that people will automatically understand the benefits. You can use social proof to show that what you are asking works for others too.
  • Let others contribute to the success. Being part of something is motivating. Ask for their views and assign them tasks.

Knowing How To Reboot Your Energy

For a complete and happy day, you need to focus on your energy and reboot it when needed.

Know thyself by identifying where the typical energy highs and lows

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