The human brain is the defining aspect of our humanity. It separates us from every other life form. The gift of thought unites us. We can begin thinking about our own thinking by the time we are nine years old.

Cognitive scientists at the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas at Dallas have created a brain training program to improve our cognitive capabilities. The program focuses on the executive, higher order thinking skills including integrated reasoning, innovation and strategic attention.

Integrated reasoning is the key to accomplishing major goals, key decisions and any major life changes you want to tackle. The goal of integrated reasoning training is to transform our thoughts into high level ideas for improved problem solving and reasoning.

Many of us have been engaging with Zoom video calls lately. The tips to improve your integrated reasoning also revolve around zooming of a different sort.

  1. Zoom in.  Identify WHAT you are trying to figure out and zoom in. Identify the information that is most important and block the unnecessary information to streamline your cognitive load. Write down the relevant detailed information so that you can look back on it while freeing up your memory for other tasks.
  2. Zoom out.  Look at the bigger picture and understand the SO WHAT of the critical data points that you collected. Synthesize the detailed information from learnings and meetings into a few key themes.
  3. Zoom forward.  This step helps to answer the WHAT NEXT? What is the next step to apply the information that you Zoomed in and out on above?  What is the takeaway and what steps will you take to moving forward?

Science has proven that the human brain is neuroplastic – meaning it can change and build new neural connections. Thoughts that fire together wire together. Practicing the above zooming skills can build new neural connections and enable you to work smarter.