Thursday, November 11, 2021

Sequenced Details: Working Memory Expansion - Your Best Mental Skill Created

Every moment of our day is rushed, serial. Each event becomes part of a singular-one-piece, holistic grid, creating unbearable tension, pressure, and stress.

Enveloped with daily fast driving, quick texting, constant, communicative blunders and demands, our thoughts become disrupted. We hurry, multi-task, resolve problems, issues; but, with a holistic, one-track mind. We remain fixated, less productive, in our daily routines.

Unwittingly, we create our own frantic, strange inner world that seldom interfaces with the outside hurried, demanding world. There is never enough time to enjoy life as we would like. Exhausted, we need and want some kind of relief.  Can a strategically trained mind, with sequential thought, become liberated, finding new, focused self-assurance,  even possible?            

Solution: We can upgrade ourselves to be a sharper, more autonomous, individual by applying strategic working memory training. [1] We can transition to a methodical mindset capability by applying detail awareness, through sequenced, chunked-coded, information. [2]  Series of step-wise operations require focused speed and accuracy. This will add not only proficiency to our tasks, but create a calm, methodical, mindset.

Thirty years ago, I wrote a similar, but technical article, on this same venue, [3]  and now sorely see the disastrous, dangerous, outcome of detail issues that are routine now, in all academic and professional fields.

Change Can and Should Begin Early

The best scenario is to begin sharp cognition enhancement early on. If young and teenage students become routinely aware of their own learning brain skill strengths and weaknesses, like athletes and musicians know their improvement goals, mental enhancement then becomes an habitual, ongoing process. [4]

The school learning process has always been a chicken/egg – ying/yang question as to why the student was not learning the content (lack of motivation, behavioral), or poor teaching (poor choice of lesson applications, or lack of class control). Subsequently, many children may wade through the academic process, unknowingly with cognitive shortcomings, and then, as adults, must create their own upward mobility through determination, insight, and courage through advanced education and training.  

And then, to find they have the same cognitive weaknesses that can further decline with age.

An old adage: “The Devil is in the Details”

You might say; “Why should I care about detail errors – I get paid anyway. Even double, with constant re-work.”

Yet, even with this faulty logic, steps can not be omitted, or the entire operational system fails. The end consumer pays. Mental, procedural skill abilities are now in high demand. We can interface with this demand, by showing awareness of, and then applying, good logical-sequential, solutions to avoid, or rapidly correct, these routine detail errors.

Understanding detail function is your  best career route, as supervisors notice your proficiency ;evel. And, you could spend years spinning your tires at low wages, job uncertainty, unnecessarily.

Working Memory Recognized and Understood
There are two primary memory and cognition processing types: visual and auditory-listening memory, (details and sequential). [5] Optimally, they should work in sync. Working in tandem cerates conceptualization, with understanding, and higher thought levels. There are sub-ordering categories within each type: words, letters, numbers, and sentences. [6] Subsequently, integrated visual and listening sequencing is the root of all academic and technical learning: following oral and written directions, reading writing, spelling and math.

Use it or Lose it with Continual Detail Workouts: Pills Will Not Create Sequences

 You can;
1) practice with the many existing, online, memory exercise routines like athletes and musicians do. But, they have their own specific practice drills, as they expect continued drill and practice as basics of their discipline, for excelling and maintaining performance edge.  

Or, 2) engage in a researched, data-evidenced, sequencing-skill building program, offering your own personal outcomes. You can use practice routines as a family, or within other group units.

A Numerical Practice Sample

Continued rehearsal practice can jump start your working memory for increased strength and capacity.  As a former “Mind and Brain - Vision” Kansas City chapter editor, and national contributor for the Association of Training and Development, (ASTD, Now, ATD, The Association for Development Talent), I wrote about the necessary skills of brain building through detail-sequencing: “Building a More Powerful Brain”. [7] All operational procedures, as in computer programming, technical skills, business management, or surgical routines, are a series of coded details and spans.

You may discover that keeping numerical figures straight, while listening to feedback instructions during data entry situations, is particularly difficult.  Additionally, many of us can not apply telephone numbers without looking.  We have most of the numbers we routinely use, entered into our cell phones. But, there may be non routine telephone numbers to enter at times. And, we generally look at them.

Okay then, let’s practice a few simple chunked number spans to improve our numerical sequencing.  Have someone read the number series to you, so you do not see the text.  Since telephone numbers are easy seven spans, try saying a few both forward and in reverse.  Scanning backward will help you visualize the numerical placement to avoid transposing. Then say it forward again. You can find many similar online practice games like this example.

Say this number series:  932-4737

Now in reverse:  7374-239

Repeat the correct number series forward:  932-4737

Here are two more.  Now, you can create your own as you drive home or to work:

1)          832-4787

2)         239-5782

You can now start developing your own sequencing skill, working memory, with continued practice. Mental toughness improvement can also soon be achieved through Mem-ExSpan’s short, online, practice sessions applying puppetry, comedy, acting, and music.   

Mental skill sequencing awareness and change gives ultimate job and career-choices for autonomous, life-long, personal freedom.

Jan Kuyper Erland, is a Performance Analyst, Content Development Researcher, and Intervention Specialist for Mem-ExSpan, Inc. 

[1] Erland, J. K. (1999). Retraining cognitive abilities: A longitudinal study. Journal for Accelerated Learning and Teaching, 14. 1. 3-42. (ERIC ED #436 962).

[2]  Erland, J. K. (c 1989). Hierarchy of Thinking. Mem-ExSpan, Inc.

[3]  Erland, J. K. (1992). Cognitive skills training improves listening and visual memory for academic and career success. Journal of Accelerated Learning and Teaching. 20. 1. ERIC Clearinghouse (ED #353 286).

[4] Erland, J. K. (© 2008). unpublished document. Five Generations, 27-years of Iterative Brain-Based Accelerative Learning Experimentation, Demonstrate Cognitive Skill Improvement Enhances Academic Achievement and Career Goals.

[5] Guilford, J. P. (1986). Creative talents: Their nature, uses, and development. Buffalo, NY: Bearly Ltd.

[6] Woodcock, R. W. & Johnson, M. (3rd ed. 2001, 1989, 1977). Tests of Cognitive Ability: Psycho educational battery. Hingham, MA: Teaching Resources Corp. Standard and Supplemental Batteries Examiner’s Manual. Allen, TX. DLM. 

[7] Erland, J. K. (Winter 1998-1999). Building a More Powerful Brain. Performance in Practice. ASTD. pp.13-14. (ERIC ED #439 445).