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We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

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World Renowned Bloggers

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

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Sharpen Your Skills: Maximizing Productivity

The Big Idea for Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Businesses and individuals who want to increase their productivity would be wise to pay attention to emerging neuroscience. Recent research into how we form and reinforce habits paints a more realistic picture than we've ever seen before of how our minds work and why threats, vows, and even financial incentives are such unreliable means of changing people's behavior. 

Because so much of our behavior is habitual, and because habits are neurologically hardwired, improving productivity means acknowledging our tendencies to procrastinate or work in ways that are more effortful than strategic. It means redirecting those habits and cultivating new ones – a process that simply cannot be rushed. 

Frustrating as these sluggish human realities may seem in a world of instantaneous communication and rapid change, recognizing and working with them – rather than against them – is the surest pathway to success. 

Perspectives

  1. 1 How Not To Spend Your Whole Day on Facebook
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  2. 2 Dan Ariely on Overcoming Procrastination
    Dan Ariely
  3. 3 The Real Key to Productivity? Sleep.
    Orion Jones IdeaFeed
  4. 4 The Neuroscience of Success
    Jason Gots Think Tank
 

Sharpen Your Skills: Maximi...

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