|"Balance, why not?" Collage by Lani and textures from FlyPaper|
So the first thing I want to do is keep things as simple in my environment as possible. When there's a lot going on around me, with a lot of distraction and confusion, it makes the elephant trainer part of the brain a little tired and the elephant part of the brain a little more insistent. The marketers in the Journal of Consumer Research know all about this. Baba Shiv, a professor of marketing at the Stanford Graduate School has research that shows how people who are distracted are more likely to give in to temptation. Distracted shoppers are more susceptible to in-store promotions, in fact anything that reduces the ability for the consumer to process information increases the likelihood of impulse shopping. So stores now have tons of distractions for us to get lost in. But if I want to train my elephant to avoid temptations then there's no reason for my personal environment to replicate that kind of chaos! In fact if I want to help strengthen the trainer part of the brain, I need to cut down on the distractions, perhaps confining some of my technological activities to a schedule. Hmmm, now there's a concept!
Want a little Kelly McGonigal wisdom?