Apr 05

Achieve more, in less time, by optimising your left AND right brain

It is a huge challenge to maintain a sense of clarity, focus and energy when you are constantly pushed for time. 

Time, or more accurately, lack of it, is a huge stressor for women entrepreneurs, and a 'fear of not having enough time' constantly comes up in the work we do with our clients.

So how can we gain the clarity we need to be more productive and focused in the limited amount of time that we do have? The answer may lie in the way we use (or don't use) our brains. If you are constantly asking yourself how you can 'save time' or 'get more done in the time you have available, then read on! 


Have you developed a lazy brain, without even knowing it?

No matter how hard we delude ourselves, we cannot create more time in our day, it is simply not possible! 24 hours is 24 hours, after all. However, we can improve the way we use our time.

Are you currently using the time you have to it's full potential? Are you as productive and focused as you could be? We're guessing that only Wonderwoman has the clarity, focus and energy she needs to achieve her full potential 100% of the time. For the rest of us, there's probably plenty of room for improvement.  

In Do we really use only 10% of our brains?Birgitt Williams raises the idea that we have allowed parts of our brain to become lazy through lack of use. This is due to a number of environmental factors, including what we are rewarded for, particularly in 'developed' country societies which have been dominated by left-hemisphere directed thinking and attitudes. This idea makes a lot of sense and has huge implications for increasing productivity. After all, how much more might we be able to achieve if we were to wake up our under-utilised 'right' brains?   

What can we do to 'wake up' those parts of the brain that we are not using to their full potential? 

A great place to start is to figure out whether you are more of a 'right' or 'left' brain thinker.  If you're not sure, take a look through this list and get a sense of which hemisphere you tend to spend the most time in. 


Right Brain Left Brain

Uses emotions/intuition/creativity

Remembers faces

Responds to demonstrated or illustrated instructions

Experiments randomly and with less restraint

Prefers problem solving by looking at the whole, approaching the problem through patterns, using hunches.

Makes subjective judgement. Looks at sameness.

Prefers open-ended questions

More free with feelings

Good at interpreting body language

Uses metaphors/analogies

Prefers participative authority structures

Is commonly characterised as feminine


Remembers names

Reponds to verbal instructions and explanations

Experiments systematically and with control.

Prefers problem solving by breaking into parts, approaching problems sequentially, using logic, reasoning.

Deals in parts/specifics.

Reductionist thinking. Will analyze, break apart.

Is restricted by time

Makes objective judgements. Looks at otherness.

Planned and structured

Prefers ranked, hierarchical structures

Is commonly characterised as masculine

Those who are strong 'right brain' thinkers have a tendency to struggle with bringing order and focus into their daily lives, regularly heading off track chasing new ideas and struggling with implementation. The more 'left' brained among us tend to be great at writing lists and creating order out of the chaos created by their right brain business partners (in our case!), but may struggle to achieve the innovation and creativity so easily accessed by their right brain oriented sisters. 

Let's be clear, it's not that one way of 'being' or 'doing' is better than the other.  

Instead, it's about creating a balance between the two that empowers us to reach our full potential as women, and as entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, right hemisphere directed thinking and attitudes have traditionally been viewed as 'soft' and not necessary in the world of successful business. But a shift is happening. Leaders with vision are increasingly recognising the power of a more balanced approach and forging a new path, a path that acknowledges that current and future business success is going to be deeply influenced by the strengthening of right hemisphere directed thinking.

It is possible to achieve more, in less time, when you use your brain to its full potential…  

In our own experience as users and facilitators of 'whole person' approaches, or ways of working that tap into both the left and right brain, we have found this statement to be true.

We'll be sharing some of our tips and tools for accessing the potential of your 'whole' brain in our upcoming interview with Shannon Bush as part of the Creative Women Can Rocket in Business Telesummit. This fabulous event kicks off on the 2nd April 2012, come and join us there! 

Janine Ogg is a lifestyle business coach and co-founder of Love Your Small Business with her business partner, Jo Foster. She is a trained facilitator of The Genuine Contact Program (TM) and it's components, including Whole Person Process Facilitation, a tool for facilitating highly participative meetings that attends to different learning styles and engages both right and left brain learning. 

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono

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  • Shannon Bush

    What a brilliant article that so masterfully captures the wonder of the right and left brain and I believe inspires you to engage fully with both sides! I’m very excited about having Jo and Janine appear on my Creative Women Can Rocket in Business Summit next week. It’s going to be an amazing conversation

    • Thanks Shannon, we loved working with you on the summit it was such fun and we got a lot out of our preparation personally too! Congrats on achieving a month of wonderful interviews.

  • I loved this article! Fabulously informative and so fun to read! I never really looked at the whole right vs. left hemisphere thing this way until now, so thank you for broadening my thinking on the whole concept. I’m totally a right-brainer but will try to power up my left brain as well! 🙂

    • Jo Foster

      HI Otti,
      Thanks for your comment and I had to reply because I am such a left-brained person that I love coming across right-brainers like you! It has been such an interesting journey for me to start to tap into my right brained awesomness too, and to see what I can create when I do.
      So keep us posted as you ‘power up your left brain’!

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