Thursday, November 26, 2009

Improve Your Memory with Learning Styles

It may sound like an advert, but it’s true: you can give your memory a boost by using your Learning Style. The techniques are simple, yet tailored especially towards your own unique way of learning.

To understand how your Learning Style affects the way in which you absorb new information best, please have a look here. Today, however, we will concentrate on the process of consolidating the already-learnt information in order to cement it in your memory.

A bit of scientific jargon here: the most recent research studies support the hypothesis that “enhanced memory in humans is associated with elevated norepinephrine activity during memory consolidation”. In everyday language, it means that stimulating the “Fight or Flight” response in the body makes your brain remember the situation. Our emotions influence how well the brain encodes information about exciting or meaningful events (from

So, the message is clear:

  • feel very positive about the thing you’re trying to memorise, and you will;
  • feel extremely negative about the thing you’re trying to memorise, and you will, too.

(Love your teacher, hate your teacher, fear your teacher - all those emotions will help you learn.)

The good news is that we don’t necessarily need to simulate a life-or-death situation or to become emotional in order to enhance our memory. Because norepinephrine is also released during physical activity, doing energising exercises immediately after a period of intensive memorising will help you retain the information. Similarly, going for a brisk walk when you’re trying to recall something might help unlock the obstinate memory pathway... unless mobility is not in the list of your Learning Style Preferences, of course.

What is your own Learning Style? Find out here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Say Goodbye to Office Stress, too!

Last week, we talked about using Working Styles at home, when dealing with your children (click here to read the full post). Today, we’ll use Working Styles in a more conventional way, namely, to decrease your stress levels in the office.

Your Working Style is the way in which you approach complex projects and cope with problematic tasks. Do you dive into the details straight away, or do you search for an overview first? Do deadlines stress you or energise you? Do you get excited or irritated by a promise of a performance bonus? Do you work more optimally in a group or by yourself? Do you enjoy working under a mentor or a supervisor? When people are late for a meeting, do you use the extra time to focus your mind or do you get so impatient that you can actually feel your blood pressure rising?

It’s not a joking matter. If you force yourself to work in circumstances that are incompatible with your Working Style, you can do your health a serious amount of damage. Stress is the silent killer of the 21st century - don’t let it get to you. Complete your Working Style Analysis today for a full report of factors that may contribute to your tension on the job.

And remember, the elements we discussed last week, namely:

· the amount of light in your office,

· tidiness or chaos (either can set your teeth on edge, depending on your unique Working Style),

· variety or habit (again, some people get upset by change, others don’t settle well into a routine),

· room temperature,

· time of day,

may also affect how stressed you feel at work. Check your Working Style Analysis report.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Say Goodbye to Stress with Working Styles

Step 1: Recognise Stress

(that’s nothing to do with Working Styles!)

· Your little girl spills juice on the carpet.

· Your son is having a screaming fit.

· Your toddler is carrying her latest painted masterpiece towards you. She drops it face down onto the carpet….

· Your teenager has died her hair purple.

Step 2: Discover Why You Are REALLY Stressed. No, REALLY!

Take something as simple as the light in your house. Did you know that some people feel better in darker rooms that have softer lighting, while others need bright light to function? If you like bright light, you may feel lethargic in dimly lit rooms; while if you prefer soft light, you may be stressed in a room in which the light bulbs are very bright. Fluorescent lights in particular (present in many kitchens, garages and laundries) can make you feel extremely agitated because of their constant flickering that your eye doesn’t notice but your brain still registers.

You can also feel stressed because of an untidy environment, too much change or too much routine, because of the weather, because of the time of day.

To find out, do our Working Style Analysis.

Step 3: Banish Stress

1. Think about your daily schedule and about your house. What can you change to achieve a better environment in which to be a parent? Hint: read the report you get with your personal and unique Working Style Analysis.

2. Not sure what else is adding to your stress? Then email Prashnig Style Solutions on with a subject line “Parental Stress Competition” for your chance to win a personal analysis.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Global Change and Learning Styles

Are you prepared for change? Generation Y has compressed the traditional 20 year career cycle into approximately 1-2 years. People who were born between 1975 and 1995 don’t want to spend a lifetime waiting for their life to happen.

“I need to feel that I’m constantly learning and growing,” says the 29 year old Andrew, a software engineer. “If I have to work on one thing for more than six months, or if a promotion passes me by, I will move on.”

The global economic situation doesn’t bother him. “My age and my qualifications have, so far, been recession-proof. There are still many good companies out there who are recruiting. But you have to be flexible and prepared to learn new things.”

This implies that to beat the recession and get the job of your dreams, you have to be willing to develop your existing skills and learn new ones.

Sounds easy? If we consider the human brain, it’s clear that its main function is to learn. Because of the brain’s enormous potential, information intake should be fun, easy, long-lasting and stress-free. So why isn’t it always the case?

Barbara Prashnig, the director of Creative Learning Company in Auckland, New Zealand, and a world expert in the area of learning techniques, believes that the key to successful learning is knowing and satisfying one’s unique Learning Style. “Learning style,” she says, “is simply the way in which human beings concentrate on, absorb, process and retain new and difficult information. People can learn virtually anything if allowed to do it through their own personal strengths.”

What’s your learning style? Have a look here to find out.