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Signs You’re “Left-brain Dominant” and How to Make Good Use of It

Signs You’re “Left-brain Dominant” and How to Make Good Use of It
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Do you know what characteristics are prominently perceived as indicating a left-brain dominant person? If not, this article will be a great fit for you. You will learn the characteristics of left-brain attributes and how you can make good use of them.

Let’s backtrack a bit: How did you answer the question in the picture above: “Do you usually do things in a planned, orderly way?”

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Do you agree with the question? Do you find yourself planning for events or day-to-day tasks in a fashion that allows you order and structure? If so, you’re most likely a person who could be called left-brain dominant.

In traditional western school systems, left-brained ways of thinking are favored over right-brained, emphasizing more logical and analytical skills. From my experience from elementary all the way through college, those who had left-brain tendencies were the top students of their class. While the categories of left-brained and right-brained don’t actually indicate what part of their brain someone uses, the characteristics associated with the label left-brain dominant can indicate that someone will do well in certain environments.

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“Left-Brain” Characteristics:

1. Excellent Goal Setters
People called left-brain dominant tend to be excellent goal setters. They get specific on their goals, meaning they get down to the nitty-gritty of exactly how they plan on attaining their goals. They define specific behaviors or actions that must be acted upon to reach their goals. They use standards to measure their success when they reach their goals. Finally, they set achievable and realistic goals.

2. Good at Reading Directions
Left-brained folks are good at reading directions and implementing the directions they were given. They can effectively take action on the task at hand by closely following along with every step laid out in front of them. They tend to focus on each step to propel them forward to the next step and the final goal.

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3. Sharp Memory Skills
Many people who have dominant left-brain characteristics tend to have sharp memory skills. They could even have early childhood memories or be able to recall minute details regarding a specific situation that occurred a year ago. I’m sure you have experienced a fellow classmate being able to recall every tidbit of information from a class lecture.

4. Math and Science Subjects Come Very Easily
Left-brain individuals excel in math and science subjects. With their sharp abilities to learn new material and further process it using analytical reasoning, science and math subjects can be a breeze for them.

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5. Excellent Logical Problem Solving Skills
When it comes to addressing a specific problem, a left-brained individual will naturally try to address the problem head on with logic and reasoning. They will get down to the root of the problem and work themselves out of it.

6. Detail-Oriented
Left-brain individuals tend to think about things in great detail and may overlook the big picture. This may hinder common sense reasoning and encourage perfectionist tendencies. However, paying close attention to details may actually prove beneficial when it comes to detail-oriented subjects such as math and science.

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How to Make Good Use of Left Brain Characteristics

If you have left-brain tendencies you know that some of the characteristics listed above can be used to your advantage. You can choose a career that corresponds with these strengths, or you can choose a learning path that will help you expand upon them and further develop mathematical and scientific reasoning. Don’t be afraid to go the opposite direction – having some left-brain traits doesn’t stop you from pursuing right-brain activities and learning other strengths.

Conclusion:

Be sure to be mindful that the label of left- or right-brained is not important.  It is just an observation of characteristics you already have. Don’t let yourself be pigeon-holed into identifying with left- or right-brain tendencies, because in all reality both hemispheres are functioning. Determining if you fit the left- or right-brained stereotype is merely a tool to identify and use your strengths to the best of your ability.

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Tara Massan

Founder of Be Moved, Life Coach and Writer.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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