Society values sequential thinking skills because a large percentage of work and daily activities require this cognitive strength. Sequential thinkers have strong organizational skills and are good at staying on task, while following logical and orderly processes and procedures. Even simple daily personal tasks like preparing a budget, balancing your checking account, planning a shopping trip or driving to work require use of sequential competencies.
The majority of people have sequential cognitive preferences over global thinking strengths, as measured, using statistically validated surveys, by the Hadron Group, Inc. since 1993. This article will help thinkers in all categories expand and strengthen their sequential competencies by using reliable and safe neuroscience principles and practices.
Sequential thinking and sequential activities involve logic, order, realism, practicality, timelines, attention to detail and organization. Global thinking and global activities involve imagination, seeing the “big picture,” ideation, invention and discovering new possibilities and options.
Sequential competencies are required for accounting, budgeting, compiling, developing spreadsheets, entering data, doing mathematical computations, making decisions from data and statistics, meeting timetables, organizing, prioritizing, scheduling, staying on task, tactical planning and implementation, and following processes and procedures. These are all important elements for a practical and smooth running world.
Best Physical Environment for Performing Sequential Activities
Performing sequential activities requires focus and concentration. Otherwise, mistakes and accidents may occur. The best physical environment is a combination of as many of these conditions possible:
- Cool Temperature: Avoiding the warm conditions conducive to daydreaming and napping helps keep you awake and alert.
- Bright Light: Natural or incandescent light helps keep you focused and illuminates what you need to see to do the sequential task accurately.
- Quiet: To minimize auditory distractions, consider wearing earplugs or listening to classical music. Some work situations require listening to commands and being alert to equipment sounds and horns. Therefore, use common sense for this suggestion.
- Formal Seating: A straight back or ergonomic chair at a table or desk is ideal for performing sequential activities. Avoid an overly comfortable environment that tends to relax you and decrease focus and concentration.
- Avoid Intake While Working: Drinking beverages and eating only during breaks or at mealtime helps keep you on-task. Consider using intake as a reward for completing a milestone.
These physical environments set the stage for performing sequential activities at high levels of performance. The themes are focus, concentration and staying on task while following logical processes.
Strengthening Your Sequential Competencies
“What you give attention to gets stronger” is a foundational neuroscience principle. Strengthening your sequential cognitive thinking powers enables you to think more logically and to perform a broader range of sequential activities at higher levels of excellence.
- Do More Sequential Activities: Engaging with more sequential activities strengthens and builds new neuro-pathways, similarly to growing the root system of a tree. Also, as you continue to increase the complexity level of your sequential activities, you get stronger and more confident.
- Identify Strong Sequential Coaches: These are co-workers, friends and family members, who exhibit the characteristics of sequential performance excellence. Ask your coaches for advice, counsel and best practices. Observe them doing sequential work. Work side by side and ask them to critique your work.
- Pre-Flight Check List Before Performing Sequential Activities: Use the following check list to assure you are ready to engage and have the proper resources in place to perform in a safe and resourceful manner:
- Recommended physical environment in place?
- Personal physical, mental and emotional readiness?
- Required equipment, tools and material on-hand and in good working order?
- People available for help and quality control checks?
- In-Flight Check List While Performing Sequential Activities: Periodically and during breaks think about these subjects as a performance check and basis for continuous improvement:
- Following prescribed processes and procedure?
- Completing work to performance standards (Quality and quantity)?
- Personal physical, mental and emotional state to continue work?
- Areas for improvement?
You can expand and strengthen your sequential cognitive competencies by engaging in more challenging sequential activities, performing these activities in prescribed physical environments, having a sequential thinking coach, and implementing your pre-flight and in-flight check lists. Trust practical neuroscience and your miraculous brain will raise your performance levels beyond what you may have thought possible.
- Watch Sparks Fly Between Sequential and Global Thinkers (brainpathways.net)
- Are You Playing With a Full Deck? (brainpathways.net)
- How Do You Know It’s the Right Job? (brainpathways.net)