This is Your Brain on CI – Part 3 of 3Posted: July 23, 2015
July 23, 2015
When you are doing competitive intelligence (CI) research and analysis, you are relying on your own intelligence to drive that research and analysis. But your brain, like any other part of your body, needs proper care and conditioning. What follows here and in the previous parts are a few notes on what works for me – and has worked for others as well. Your suggestions and comments are, of course, very welcome.
In this third part, let me deal with conditioning your brain. Most people take better care of their cars, lawn mowers, and TVs than they do of their bodies. By that, I mean getting and keeping it in condition as when you train your body to support physical changes that you are facing, such as healing, building muscle, losing weight, or gaining new skills.
First of all, take good care of your body. Your brain depends on your body. In fact, your brain is the involuntary passenger in your body, as well as its governing body. Watch what you eat; rest – you probably do not get enough rest; exercise – in moderation; head off physical and medical issues – don’t wait until it is too late.
Second, add more relaxation into your schedule. By that, I mean things such as:
- Step away from the computer – regularly.
- Turn off the smart phone. We subconsciously react to hearing the cell phone acknowledge a message or call when we cannot take it. In other words, you do not ignore your smart phone unless it is completely off.
- Set an “end time” to your work day. If you put yourself (or find yourself) on call well after working hours week after week, ask yourself why? Are you, your team, or your boss mishandling your time? Try and correct that.
- Add something new to do where you cannot think of work, personal issues, or when you are scheduled for an oil change while you are doing it. This is why many people find things like fly-fishing or gardening relaxing. They are relaxing because they are forced to focus away from things they normally are forced to focus on.
Third, improve your current relaxation – make it better. How?:
- Find ways to protect your current ways of relaxing from intrusion. Completely turn off that phone when you are jogging or exercising (see above).
- Extend your relaxation by adding something a little different. For example, if you are a coin collector, spend a little time reading about precious metal metallurgy or the history of some regime or historical era that represents an interesting element in your collection. In other words, look at something familiar differently.
Think of your conditioning mind in terms of balancing visual versus arithmetic, factual versus artistic, scientific versus historic, etc.