There’s a lot of talk about working smarter, not harder. But how?
Many will talk about time management, and others will talk about cutting out tasks that you can delegate to others. But I recently read a great article by Kate Marie Pennell that talked about making the subconscious mind do more of the heavy lifting.
I have known about the subconscious mind for a long time, but in the last couple of years I have become more familiar with the concept that your conscious mind may only be about 10% of the iceberg that is your brain.
The brain processes 400 billion pieces of information per day. That obviously cannot be a conscious processing. Your subconscious takes in a lot, but also acts like a a bit of a seize. So we only become consciously aware of what our subconscious deems is relevant.
The subconscious brain does not have reasoning or judgment. It is just processing, like a machine, based on rules. The different between the conscious and subconscious brain can be demonstrated by how they work together when we need to make a decision. For example, let’s say I want to buy new shoes.
As I go about my daily tasks, I now start noticing people’s shoes. The file is still open on ‘Which shoes do I buy?’ so my data collection devices (eyes and ears) send information back into the control center (conscious mind) which does a quick evaluation (horrible color/looks comfy).
Did I notice people’s shoes before? Not really. Were people wearing shoes before that? Of course! I just didn’t have a “scan and search” order set for “shoes”.
Buying shoes is a simple example, but the same principle is in action if we want to change our job, find a course, meet a new partner, or discover a way to change an area of our lives. We can set an order to search and scan. The data comes in, and the amazingly powerful subconscious connects and compiles it, even when we are not consciously thinking about it.
So how do we take more control of the subconscious mind to make it work for us?
Asking the right questions are part of the key. A question is better than an opinion or affirmation for finding creative solutions. Positive affirmations can be very effective for changing the programming in our subconscious, but it doesn’t send the command to do anything: to search and connect. Good questions invite action and expansion. The subconscious loves making connections and having something to do, and it loves good questions.
Secondly, the focus of the question makes a difference. A big difference.
If I send the question ‘how can I feel less tired all the time?’ it’s a negative question. The focus is on feeling tired, so that’s what you are telling your computer to focus on. The resulting thoughts and feelings will reflect this focus. ‘Tired’ in, ‘tired’ out.
By rephrasing the question to: ‘How can I re-energize myself this week?’ the focus is positive, on energy and feeling energized, and the results will follow suite. By setting a specific time frame of this week or tomorrow, you are also setting nice manageable parameters for your subconscious to play with.
If your conscious mind is worrying on an issue, and won’t take a break, you may have to give it a rest. Sleep on the issue, or take a nap. Thomas Edison would regularly take a nap when faced with a problem. He is famous for taking a nap in his chair while holding two metal balls in his hands, which would drop and wake him if he fell into a deep sleep. The answer or insight would often be there upon waking. Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla were also famous for their napping habits.
Our mind is amazing. What I see in my personal experience and research on this topic is that it is possible to maximize our potential and productivity through a simple habit.
- Create a question.
- Let that question resonate.
- Trust your subconscious mind to come through for you.
- Go do something else, like sleep. If you’re going to sleep, write the question down first.
- Be ready and aware for the answer.
Promoting greater balance and cohesion in my mind is important to me, as is working smarter—not just harder—to create what I want.