Hack your brain - Ways to improve your thought processes

Hack your brain - Ways to improve your thought processes

As developers we are always looking at improving and optimizing our workflows, but why don't we also do that with our thoughts? This talk will explore ways to improve those thought processes through looking at techniques like mindfulness, having a growth mindset, implementing new habits like how you do a sprint and even why speed reading might be for you!

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Christine

May 17, 2019
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  1. @tech_christine Hack Your Brain Ways to improve your thought processes

  2. @tech_christine You can improve yourself

  3. @tech_christine

  4. @tech_christine Evette Software Engineer Nick Network Engineer Dell Product Designer

    Peyton Product Manager
  5. @tech_christine What's her struggle? • Thoughts just keep circling around

    • Feels overwhelmed with worries and general chaos • Everything wrong is happening to her
  6. @tech_christine A Solution? Mindfulness

  7. @tech_christine – Jon Kabat-Zinn professor/creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic

    and Center for Mindfulness “Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally”
  8. @tech_christine What is mindfulness? • Mental habit of paying attention

    without thinking • Logging for your brain
  9. @tech_christine Let's try a quick meditation

  10. @tech_christine How to practice mindfulness • Focus your attention on

    something • Keep your focus, but don't judge yourself •Don't strive to hard
  11. @tech_christine Might even call this the Secret Sauce

  12. @tech_christine Am I going to need a lot of props?

  13. @tech_christine Nope There is no perfect way to meditate

  14. @tech_christine Do you have to do mindfulness meditation in order

    to be mindful?
  15. @tech_christine What can it help with? Emotional balance Response flexibility

    Downregulation of fear
  16. @tech_christine But wait there's more... Insight Empathy Morality Intuition

  17. @tech_christine How will this help Evette? Thoughts just keep circling

    around • Allows her to redirect thoughts Feels overwhelmed with worries and general chaos • Helps with fear and chaos by down- regulating Everything wrong is happening to her • Helps her find insight and perspective
  18. @tech_christine What is the struggle? • They have a resolution

    list a mile long • Starts and stops trying to tackle procrastination, healthy eating, exercise... • Lots of to-do lists
  19. @tech_christine An idea to help? Habit building

  20. @tech_christine –Will Durant, writer/historian/philosopher (often attributed to Aristotle) “…we are

    what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act but a habit.”
  21. @tech_christine What is a habit? • Not just "something you

    do every day" • Frequently recurring behaviors, that trigger when a cue is encountered • Then the behavior is performed automatically
  22. @tech_christine

  23. @tech_christine Example Habits • When you wake up (trigger), you

    brush your teeth (habit). • When you get to work (trigger), you check your email/slack (habit). • When you get stressed (trigger), you eat cheetos/ chocolate (habit).
  24. @tech_christine How to form a habit? 1. Identify your goal

    2. Create environmental triggers 3. Define your reward
  25. @tech_christine Identify the trigger •Figure out existing triggers •Look for

    something already in your routine •Examples: •Showering •Eating Breakfast •Commuting
  26. @tech_christine

  27. @tech_christine

  28. @tech_christine Tips for making a habit stick •Find what you

    like about the habit •Have a habit buddy •Have a way of keeping score •Make it hard to not do the habit
  29. @tech_christine Treat your habit like a sprint and have a

    retro
  30. @tech_christine How will this help Dell? They have a resolution

    list a mile long • Mark that list off one at a time Starts and stops trying to tackle procrastination, healthy eating, exercise... • Habits build on habits, start small Lots of to-do lists • Make sure the habit is part of a long term goal
  31. @tech_christine What is the struggle? • Avoids Challenges • Gives

    up easily • Feels threatened by the success of others
  32. @tech_christine What is a solution? Growth Mindset

  33. @tech_christine

  34. Think of yourself like vanilla software It is just a

    starting point, can always improve with more add-ons and frameworks
  35. @tech_christine Belief ➡ Action ➡ Growth

  36. @tech_christine Questions to challenge why • Why hide deficiencies instead

    of overcoming them? • Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? • Why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you?
  37. @tech_christine

  38. @tech_christine Fixed vs Growth Mindset I suck at math vs

    Math has been challenging for me I’ll never be an artist vs I feel dissatisfied with all of the art I’ve tried to make I’m not good at handstands vs I haven’t learned how to do handstands yet
  39. @tech_christine

  40. @tech_christine How to put it into practice? • Accept you

    are not perfect, but can improve • Change your perspective on failure and criticism • Don't focus on the end result, focus on the process • Learning fast != learning well
  41. @tech_christine If you find yourself discouraged Remember, “I’m just not

    good at this yet.”
  42. @tech_christine Imposter syndrome and mindset • Just a mindset •

    Like a fixed mindset, it might be helped with focus on growth xkcd.com/1954
  43. @tech_christine How will this help Nick? Avoids Challenges • Embrace

    Challenges for learning opportunities Gives up easily • Only through some perseverance can you learn Feels threatened by the success of others • Find lessons and inspirations in others success
  44. @tech_christine What is the struggle? • Has a long reading

    list and no time • Backlog of emails and articles to read • Wants to stay current in tech and business articles
  45. @tech_christine A solution? Speed Reading

  46. @tech_christine Reading is a three step process 1. Fixate 2.

    Saccade 3. Process
  47. @tech_christine Speed Reading Techniques • Skimming • Meta guiding •

    Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP)
  48. @tech_christine Increase your throughput

  49. @tech_christine RSVP Example

  50. @tech_christine Note of caution speed and comprehension can be a

    trade-off
  51. @tech_christine A solution? Speed Reading Smarter Reading (which might make

    you faster)
  52. @tech_christine Better Reading Technique 1. Skim before 2. Improve your

    fluency to help your speed 3. Know what you want, before reading 4. For better retention, think and examine the text
  53. @tech_christine How will this help Peyton? Has a long reading

    list and no time • Reading time gains will help cut that list Backlog of emails and articles to read • Skim the ones with less retention needed, read smarter with others Wants to stay current in tech and business articles • Will be a thing of the past
  54. @tech_christine Evette Software Engineer Nick Network Engineer Dell Product Designer

    Peyton Product Manager Mindfulness Growth Mindset Habit Building Speed Reading # ✒
  55. @tech_christine Mindfulness Growth Mindset Habit Building Speed Reading # ✒

  56. @tech_christine What questions do you have?

  57. @tech_christine Mindfulness Resources • Timeless Truths for Modern Mindfulness by

    Arnie Kozak • Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn • https://nickwignall.com/how-to-start-a-mindfulness-practice/ • https://www.mindful.org/jon-kabat-zinn-defining-mindfulness/ • https://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/mindfulnessmatters/2016/09/ why-i-meditate.html#Zaf9kZtxufdT1z3W.99 • https://counterculturist.net/mindfulness-meditation-beginners/ • http://bethannvetter.com/meditation-or-attunement? • https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/what-does- mindfulness-meditation-do-to-your-brain/
  58. @tech_christine Habit Building • Essential Zen Habits: Mastering the Art

    of Change, Briefly by Leo Babauta • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg • https://zenhabits.net/how-habits-are-formed/ • https://zenhabits.net/habit-motivations/ • https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2009/aug/how-long-does-it-take-form- habit • https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-media-psychology- effect/201705/the-habit-replacement-loop
  59. @tech_christine Growth Mindset Resources • Mindset: The New Psychology of

    Success by Carol S. Dweck • https://www.mindsetworks.com/science/ • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5836039/ • http://theconversation.com/growth-mindset-interventions-yield- impressive-results-97423 • https://fs.blog/2015/03/carol-dweck-mindset/ • https://hbr.org/2016/01/what-having-a-growth-mindset-actually- means • https://scholarworks.uvm.edu/tvc/vol34/iss1/6/
  60. @tech_christine Speed Reading • https://tim.blog/2009/07/30/speed-reading-and-accelerated- learning/ • https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2015/01/19/speed-reading- redo/ •

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/BF03197271 • https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/BF03196973#page-1 • https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone. 0036091 • https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4229
  61. @tech_christine christine-seeman.com/talks Thank you to 200OK organizers and volunteers! And

    to all of you for attending today '