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Keeping Your Painter’s Brain Alive and Fit: Neurobiotics*

Ever hear of “Neurobics”?

 

I hadn’t either until someone gave me the book, Keep Your Brain Alive,by Lawrence C. Katz, Ph.D.* and Manning Rubin.* Published in 1999, the small book offers “83 Neurobic Exercises to help prevent memory loss and increase mental fitness.”

WHAT IS NEUROBICS?

Neurobics is a form of brain exercise that breaks your brain’s normal patterns of activity. Its aim: to enhance the brain’s natural way of forming associations. And, that’s basically how we learn.

WHAT CONDITIONS MAKE AN EXERCISE NEUROBIC?

It uses one or more physical senses – seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting, plus emotional “sense” in novel ways and different combinations.
It engages your attention in a way that gets your attention.
It breaks a routine activity in a non-routine or unexpected way.

TWELVE NEUROBIC EXERCISES ADAPTED TO OUR PAINTER’S WORLD

I’ve adapted these exercises from three activity areas covered in Katz’s and Rubin’s book.

Starting and ending the day

Eat something different for breakfast.
Brush your teeth using your non-dominant hand.
Close your eyes and use sense of touch to choose what you’ll wear.
Wear earplugs at dinner and listen with your eyes to your spouse.

Commuting

If you drive to work, close your eyes, then get in and start your vehicle.
Buy several inexpensive steering wheel covers in different textures, and switch.
Open the window while driving so you can smell, hear and feel a mental road map.
If you walk to work, take a few different turns. Or, say “hello” to 2-3 new people.

At Work

Move things around – reposition your computer mouse, phone, a few basic tools.
Brush or roll on paint, using your non-dominant hand.
Write down a problem. In two columns, write words associated with it; cross-reference.
In the paintshop, keep a chessboard set up, or a 500-1000 pieces jigsaw puzzle in process.

FUN TIP:Once a month, switch a smaller, simpler task with a coworker, even your boss.

* Lawrence C. Katz, Ph.D., (1956-2005) was professor of neurobiology, Duke University Medical School. * Manning Rubin comes from a long line of prolific writers, and was senior creative supervisor at K2 Design, New York City, New York.
Tip: Check Manning out if you’re interested in creative writing, professionally.)

 

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Think About It: Your brain is like any other organ in your body.

Exception: It controls everything within your body. Treat it right, friends.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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“The Better Question Changes Everything:” A Painter’s View

In Dan Rockwell’s above-titled blog, posted December 9, 2014, he advised leaders:

 

“Don’t allow people with clean hands to complain about people who are sweaty and dirty.”

 

Every professional painter understands the implication of any question, or comment, about his or her physical appearance, and hygiene, on the job.

 

On behalf of every professional painter everywhere that has gotten sweaty and/or dirty – and been asked or heard about it…

 

FIRST: Definitions of (1) an implied question, and (2) a better question to ask.

 

1. Implied question: What a question suggests or means, by the words, tone of voice, and/or look used.

2. Better question: The question that can be asked, and result in a better outcome.

 

SECOND: Some actual questions that I’ve been asked – one way or another:

 

Implied question: Why aren’t you clean like the rest of us?

Better question: You’ve had a busy day. Any problem that you need help with?

 

Implied question: Your hygiene: Don’t you use antiperspirant?

Better question: It’s been a hot, sweaty job. Thanks for your help. Would you like to cool off under a shower? A few others, including I, use the one in Room 120.

 

Implied question: Why can’t you keep your uniform spotless?

Better question: Thing they’ll ever figure out how to make stain-proof painter’s pants?

 

Implied question: How often do you change uniforms?

Better question: Has the order for your clean uniforms been put on hold again? Yes? Let me see what I can do about that.

 

Implied question: Gross! Why can’t you keep mold and bleach off your uniform?

Better question: What can we do to make this better? Any way we can help make this job easier and safer for you?

 

Implied question: Why does your uniform always look so damp and disgusting by this time every day?

Better question: Wouldn’t it be great to end a work day as fresh-looking as the office people?

 

Implied question: It’s embarrassing! Don’t you know how to keep yourself clean?

Better question: What might we try to make this part of your job less messy. You’re doing a tremendous job around here.

 

Implied question: Boy, do you know that you smell like paint?

Better question: That paint you’re using has an interesting odor, doesn’t it?

 

Implied question: Are you certain that you know what you’re doing?

Better question: Are there other ways to do that?

 

Implied question: Why does it look like that?

Better question: What will it look like when it’s finished?

 

Implied question: Won’t that make a big mess?

Better question: That’s a dirty job, isn’t it? Sorry you have to be the one to do it.

 

Implied question: Can’t you do that any faster?

Better question: That job looks like it’s going to take some time to do. Any idea how much more time you’ll need?

 

Implied question: Are you going to cover the furniture before you paint?

Better question: There sure is a lot to cover before you start to paint. Do you have enough plastic dropcloths, or old clean sheets?

 

Implied question: Why did you do it that way?

Better question: Is there more than one way to do that?

 

Implied question: You won’t leave the room in a mess, will you?

Better question: Would you leave the room as neat as you can when you’re finished?

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

 

1. Timing is everything! Is this a better or worse time to ask this question?

 

2. Location! Location! Is this a better or worse place to ask this question?

 

3. The tendency is to ask that question now, before one forgets, gets distracted, and/or walks off.

 

4. Often, it pays to think a minute, beforehand, about what one wants to say? What point does one want or need to make?

 

5. Often, it pays to anticipate the other person’s reaction or response to one’s question, before one asks it. Does the question need to be phrased differently?

 

6. Too often, the question that one asks implies something very different from what is intended.

 

7. Too often, a question is asked before its implication or effect – versus intent – is considered.

 

8. Many persons don’t recognize the implications of what they have said, until it is too late. Words and actions are not erasable.

9. Sensitivity in the workplace has its place!

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Keep up the good work, everyone. And, thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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