Is Your Right Brain Under-Developed?

Writing or designing with flow takes a healthy dose of right brain action. How so?

It’s more about playing with ideas so they flow freely, before you begin to  organize these ideas or spelling them correctly.

Only at  first, that is. Your freewriting prevents the left brain from dominating and literally blocking new insights.

Check out the remarkable example below of Dr Jill Bolte Taylor who learned the power of her right brain only after the left side literally shut down during a stroke!

Why wait for  disaster before you engage your right brain hemisphere?

What can you do to ratchet up  your right brain, before the left side kicks in to critique your good ideas?

In his book, The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, best selling author, Tony Schwartz reminds us that the right hemisphere of our brains tend to be under-developed. Can you identify?

Jill Bolte Taylor’s mind-bending experience shows strong left brain dominance until after suffering a near death stroke.

Schwartz’  numbers  show under-developed right brains:

  • 80% don’t feel fully engaged at work every day.
  • 60% get away from their desk for lunch less than twice per week.
  • 40% leave at least one week of vacation unused.
  • 70% check their email on vacation or days off.

To spark your creative process:

Schwartz suggests things anyone can do to spark the right brain and work better right now.

1. Break every 90 minutes to renew and recharge.

2. Eat small portions of energy rich foods every three hours.

3. Avoid frustration or anxiety when stressors hit, by breathing deep.

4. Tackle important tasks first thing in your day – when brainpower is high.

The idea is  to engage both sides of the brain, to increase innovation.

Develop Right Brain Creativity for Writing in the following ways:

1. Refuse to note errors while free writing on your topic for at least 5 minutes.

2. Brainstorm  topic by sketching ideas you have and those you’d’ like to add.

3. Use your free writing approach to create an outline for your final draft.

4. Refer to your rough draft to organize ideas and complete a logical  outline.

5. Read the work aloud to ensure transitions work to connect parts well.

Only at this point is it a good idea to allow the left brain’s critical side to improve your writing or creative designs.

While the right brain unleashes amazing insights you rarely know you possess, the left brain also has a job to do as  it will help you to spell correctly, organize ideas sequentially and do other tasks notes in the diagrams here.

What will you do or write to ensure your right brain develops daily?

 

6 Comments

  1. i understand that that part of your brain is underdeveloped. I wonder if we could view this from an organizational perspective. One of the leader setting up environment for more creative processes.

  2. Shrikant says:

    Definitely the right brain use is getting shorter and shorter. I am trying to take breaks every 50 min.
    I also am trying to read more off the web when I am working. Not that I am not paying attention to work, but when I work and read, I seem to be working better -is this any better use of RB?
    I am not comfortable any more in my work place. how do I deal with toxic-work-place pattern?

    In my opinion, making the organization take charge of employee right brain use would be a left brain activity
    This should be left to the employee/individual to take control of his/her RB activity.

  3. eweber says:

    Mike, what a great idea, and that is clearly my own idea and yours. What would you sat is the critical launching place for an organization to reconfigure itself for growth from a creative or innovative point of view? Thoughts?

  4. eweber says:

    You model what this post and book make central, Shrikant. People can start, and some of us have done so – yet I agree with Mike also, as I see right brain benefits across broken organizations.

    Thanks for sharing your views. How you you think an organization could benefit and raise productivity as well as worker morale through right brain development?

  5. Ellen, I love this because it ventures into the world of “the whole person”. It shows that when we take care of ourselves through rest, healthy eating, and deep breathing the rest falls into place. This is still a challenge for leaders to grasp, but a great example that most understand is what happens when you haven’t had enough sleep the night before. Your mind feels muddled and energy and creativity don’t flow. Get a good night’s sleep and voila! that problem you couldn’t solve yesterday is taken care of.

    P.S. When I have clients who feel “unbalanced”, its also sometimes helpful for them to step out of their box and take an art class or music lessons. Wouldn’t it be great if organizations offered these classes on site?

  6. eweber says:

    Mary Jo, thanks for your keen insights that always hold people as central capital. Love the concept of sleep as it impacts our ability to lead and learn!

    Your second idea about organizational offerings is a seque for innovative leaders to jump in and fill! Any takers? Ellen

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