Did you struggle through math classes in school? Statistically speaking, you’re not alone. Based on the world’s most popular online course, A MIND FOR NUMBERS shows where you probably went wrong—and how to fix it. Here are two key insights from our latest release.
Key Insight 1: There are two modes of thinking: focused and diffuse.
The brain has two modes of thinking to suit different situations, and difficult problems usually require both modes. The focused mode occurs whenever you need to train serious attention on something; it would be required to conjugate verbs in an unfamiliar language or to make a complex calculation. The diffuse mode is engaged whenever the mind is more free to wander. Diffuse thinking is active during a physical workout, or when you’re doing a mindless activity like cooking a familiar dish.
Key Insight 2: Procrastination offers relief in the short term. But its long-term effects can cause serious problems.
The hardest part of working, for many people, is simply getting started. Most people experience a certain amount of discomfort when they sit down to work on something they don’t inherently enjoy. Procrastination provides a way to avoid this discomfort, but the costs can be steep. One trick to overcome a bad habit of procrastination is to focus on the act of working instead of the end product.