If Only Your Brain Was the Size Of That Of an Ant You Could Easily Implement Habits
A year and a half ago I was introduced to something called Swarming or Swarm intelligence.
A big telecommunication company was actually mimicking ants to improve the performance of some of their products.
Now if a big telecommunication company is modeling behavior of ants and produce better products that way, there must be something worth looking at inside the head of ants.
Imagine for a moment that you are an ant. A worker ant - one of those responsible for bringing food back to the hill.
You have just found something edible that you want to bring back to the hill.
And before heading back you put Ant Rule #1 into action.
Ant Rule #1: If you find something edible you must mark the spot with a scent before heading back.
Simple rule - right?
So you leave a tiny drop to "mark the spot"
Once back at the hill you unload your loot and head out again to find more food.
Now as an ant you really don't have the massive mental capacity necessary to remember where you found the food.
Ant Rule #2 steps in.
Ant Rule #2: Head in the direction of the strongest scent from an "I found food here"-marker.
Simple rule - right?
So you head in the direction of the strongest scent.
It isn't the maker you left yourself, but apparently some of the other ants found food that was closer to the hill. Or maybe there was more food available, so more ants have visited and left more markers.
Anyway, you head for the food, leave a marker, head back to the hill, and then heads back out again.
But this time there is no food left at the marker, and you can't pick up the scent from other markers.
Ant Rule #3 steps in.
Ant Rule #3: If you don't know where food is, just start walking in a random direction.
So you pick a random direction and start walking.
A few minutes later you pick up the scent of an "I found food here"-marker - and you are back in business.
Now, listen closely: "When I snap my fingers you are no longer an ant"
Back in the realm of the humans? - good
So an ant uses only a few simple rules for bringing back food to the hill.
How many rules are in play when you bring food to the house?
Thousands I guess.
Get up in the morning, go to work, wait for paycheck, deposit paycheck, withdraw money from bank, compare offers, go to shop, find groceries, pay for the stuff, go home...
And these are only top-level rules/tasks - each of these break down into smaller and more complicated rules about how we get up in the morning, how we behave at work, how we compare offers etc.
Now you can't just live a simple life like the ant - the world we live and operate in is just too complex for that.
But you can easily apply Ant Rules to your daily life to make it easier.
And you can even use Ant Rules to create good habits.
Let's say you want to acquire good eating habits.
"Good eating habits" is a very complex entity, but what if you break it down into little Ant Rules?
Ant Rule #1: When given the choice: Always choose sparkling water instead of soda.
Ant Rule #2: Go for a walk right after eating supper.
Ant Rule #3: Eat fish on Mondays.
See, each of these rules are simple enough to be implemented with ease.
And they can be implemented gradually so you are not overwhelmed with "all the new stuff" in your new habit.
Another beauty of the simplicity of Ant Rules is that you can teach them to anybody.
How about your children?
Do they leave stuff around house?
And can it be a real challenge to get them to clean their *entire* room?
How about an Ant Rule that says "When you enter your room you must pick up one thing from the floor and put it in its right place"
Do you think you could get your kids to agree with just picking up one thing instead of cleaning up the entire room?
Now, I promised to talk about swarming and swarm intelligence, but one person with a set of Ant Rules can't really be considered a swarm?
So where do you find swarms of people?
In your home and at your workplace.
What if everybody lives by the rule of fixing just one thing when they enter a room? - how much simpler would you think it would be to keep a tidy place?
And how about at work?
Which Ant Rules can you think of that would fit into your workplace? - Rules that your team or co-workers could easily agree with and that would make you function more effectively as a team or make it a more pleasant place to work?
Copyright © Henrik Flensborg 2003.
About The Author
Henrik Flensborg is the author of "Beat Procrastination - Right Now!" - a free ebook that will reveal to you why and how you have been procrastinating - and what you can do about it.
Henrik also publishes the Growth Focus newsletter that will help you move forward in life and business. He also owns the website http://growth-focus.com/ where you will find this and many other articles from his newsletter.
Having Time on Your Side
Clarity brings accomplishment
How Much Is Poor Time Management Costing You?
* If you were paying you to prioritise emails over coaching your team, would you feel you were getting a good return on your investment?
Time Management Doesnt Exist! So What Can You Do?
There is no such thing as time management. You cannot control time, throw it out, sell it, or give it away. You cannot stop time; it goes on forever and ever. So, what can you do?
Time is on Your Side ? Manage it Wisely
How do you manage your time? Or is the more appropriate question do you wish you had better time management skills? I have clients and friends who rely on everything from legal pads to brightly colored sticky notepads to manage their time and appointments ? practically everything in their life. I don't understand why some folks place so little importance on something as important as time management!
5 Tips To Get More Out Of Your Work Day
It's easy to waste time on things that seem urgent but are not important, and even easier to get slowed down by clutter and distractions. Here are 5 solutions.
Making Headway on a Slow Day: 9 Ways to Turn Down-Time into Productivity Time
If you work from home, you know the kind of day I mean. You made the calls. You revised those drafts. You sent out the emails. Where is everybody!? As much as you used to relish a slow day when you were corporate, it's a little different when you're playing boss to yourself. Your mind gets to wandering. Should I head out to the park? Should I hit the mall? Should I... file for unemployment?
Sharpen The Saw
Sometime ago, my lovely wife woke me up in the middle of the night and said, 'Dayo, you know what? I feel neglected.' I was speechless. She then went on to say that for sometime now I have been spending more time on my work to the detriment of the family. She further explained that I put all my energies into a high drive for achievement and career success. To be honest she was right.
Do You Have The Time?
Show me, O Lord, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. Psalms 39:4.
There are times, when I am driving in my car being passed by so many other cars speeding along, that I could swear there is an emergency somewhere and I wasn't invited. It seems everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere. The other day I was sitting at a red light, the light turned green and the car in front of me sped away. At the next traffic light the same car was sitting in front of me and, when the light turned green, off the car sped. This went on for three lights. I must say that I was rather amused that this speed demon only seemed to be speeding to a red light, and wasn't getting any further along than I was. In life, this same phenomenon can happen. Going faster doesn't mean we will get where we are going any sooner. We just burn more energy, or gas if we are in the car, than we would if we went at a much safer speed.
Find The Time -- Before Its Too Late!
People always seem to be in such a hurry, everywhere I go.
The Ultimate Time Management Tips: 5 Steps To Reaching Your Goals With Minimum Work
Would you like to know how to get 10 times more done in a day than most people do in a week, with less work?
7 Reasons to Take Breaks at Work
My job in Chicago began with three months of probation.
9 Business Time Management Skills You Need To Succeed
Do you have plenty to do, but don't have enough time to do it all in? These days it appears there is a mad scramble to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time.
The Myth of What We Manage
Perhaps it is merely semantics, but an underlying problem I find that people have as it relates to the success in their life lies in a proper understanding of what exactly it is that we manage. Think about it. We have time management (In fact I have a seminar on this very topic, some of which is excerpted below), and financial management, and relational management, weight management, career management, and many, many more.
Time Management: How To Get More Done
If you can regularly ask yourself "Am I regularly and consistently working on those items that will move me towards my clearly defined goals?" and honestly answer "Yes" then you are probably doing ok.
Freelance Productivity: Do One Thing Extra Each Day
This may not sound like a big deal. But it's amazing how completing one extra task each day can quickly add up and make a difference.
Time Management For Home Business Owners
As each day passes, and more and more things need to get done with your business, you may find yourself alittle overwhelmed with how much is left to be done. This is nothing new, and a problem that almost every home business owner encounters.
Save Your Time - Delegate!
Frustration is when an obstacle blocks your ability to achieve a goal. You know it is still possible to achieve it, but you just have no idea how.
It?s Not The Same Old Routine
We are constantly inundated with routine (often boring!) tasks around the house. This can cause major frustration because many of us don't do them efficiently, and most of us fail to complete our entire list of chores! You may take comfort in comment from a commiserating colleague: "A creative mind always has more ideas than the physical body is able to carry out. The only people who finish their 'to do' list are dead." So, relax, there is only so much time in the day, and ask yourself, "What's the most important thing to do today?"
Achieve More With Less Through Proper Planning
One question a lot of people ask me recently is: "how do I manage my own personal time and get so much done in the same 24 hours everyone else have? They wonder how I have time for my family, being a Motivational Speaker, Business/Life Coach, Writer, Publisher, and Toastmaster."
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|