I just got back from Asia and have been jet-lagged. Consequently, my mental clock-speed is not yet back to normal.
It got me thinking about productive output … and how to increase it.
According to VisualCapitalist, the level of a person’s raw intelligence, as measured by aptitude tests such as IQ scores, is generally pretty stable for most adults.
While it’s true that there are things you can do to fine tune your natural capabilities (such as doing brain exercises, puzzle solving, and getting optimal sleep) – the amount of raw brainpower you have is difficult to increase in any meaningful or permanent way.
For those of us who constantly strive to be high-performers in our fields, this seems like bad news. If we can’t increase our processing power, then how can we solve life’s bigger problems as we move up the ladder?
The Key is Mental Models
The good news is that while raw cognitive abilities matter, it’s how you use and harness those abilities that really makes the difference.
via VisualCapitalist – Click the image to see a larger version.
The world’s most successful people, from Ray Dalio to Warren Buffett, are not necessarily leagues above the rest of us in raw intelligence – they have simply developed and applied better mental models of how the world works, and they use these principles to filter their thoughts, decisions, strategies, and execution.
Today’s infographic comes from best-selling author and entrepreneur Michael Simmons, who has collected over 650 mental models through his work. The infographic (in a similar style to one VisualCapitalist previously published on cognitive biases) synthesizes these models down to the most useful and universal mental models that people should learn to master first.
Concepts such as the 80/20 rule (Pareto’s Principle), compound interest, and network effects are summarized in the visualization, and their major components are broken down further within the circle.
If you want to be a top performer, it’s worth looking into mental models. They can help you better frame reality, so that you can harness your intelligence and effort in the most effective way possible – and it’ll allow you to deliver results along the way.
Otherwise, caffeine and modafinil help.