Episode 3 Learning to Automaticity: The Only Way to Multitask - The Personal Brain Trainer Podcast

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Learning to Automaticity: The Only Way to Multitask

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Welcome to the Personal Brain Trainer Podcast.

I'm Dr. Erica Warren and I'm Darius Namdaran and we're your hosts.  Join us on an adventure to translate the scientific jargon and brain research into simple metaphors and stories for everyday life.  We explore executive functions and learning strategies that help turbocharge the mind. Come learn how to steer around the invisible barriers so that you can achieve your goals.  This podcast is ideal for parents, educators, and learners of all ages.

This podcast is brought to you by Bullet Map Academy. We have free dyslexia screener app called dyslexia quiz.  It's a fun, engaging and interactive app.  Try it now.  Just search for dyslexia quiz on the app store and see how your score differs from your friends and family.

This podcast is brought to you by www.goodsensorylearning.com where you can find educational and occupational therapy lessons and remedial materials that bring delight to learning.

Finally, you can find Dr Warren's many courses at www.learningspecialistcourses.com .  Come check out our newest course on developing executive functions and study strategies.

So, what's the topic for this week?

Erica I'm super excited about this episode.

We're doing learning to Automaticity.

The only way to multitask what is automaticity?

Well automaticity is also called overtraining or over learning but it's the ability to complete tasks without occupying the conscious mind.

So, our subconscious is just doing something in the background so that we can be conscious elsewhere and these tasks become an unconscious response pattern or habit.

And the way we get there is to learn repeat and practice.

We can do it subconsciously.

So, it's basically a habit I guess.

Most habits are unconscious, right?

You can do something really well by habit.

Yeah, I think some habits could be conscious.

No, maybe not.

Maybe that's also what makes a habit of habit is that it's learned to automaticity.

Okay, so we're trying to take these psychology terms and insights and translate them into something we can imagine as part of our everyday lives and our work.

So, what kind of metaphor would fit with automaticity or this habit?

Well, it would have to be something that would be happening in the background.

I guess I'm thinking of a computer in a way a lot of computers have things that are automated in the background.

Like a piece of code that just automates a response.

That's right.

So, I'm thinking of whenever you take an assessment online you take the assessment online and it automatically gives you an output, calculates it adds, this adds that takes that divides it.

Okay, so that's an example of a automaticity.

It's like a program code, a piece of code.

Another example is like going up through the gears of a car, a manual car and becoming automatic at going through the gears.

I keep referring back to this difference between an automatic car and a manual car and sometimes were very manual at some areas of processing in our lives and other areas were very automatic at it.

We just put more effort into it, and we just go up the gears like an automatic car does.

Yeah, I guess you're right.

It's like buying an automatic car.

I have an automatic car and I don't like it.

I really miss my stick shift.

But a lot of the cars that I'm interested in, they don't make stick shifts anymore, which makes me sad.

But there is something about having an automatic car, it does it automatically for you.

So, you don't have to be putting your foot on the clutch and you can even use cruise control.

There’s another aspect of automaticity-

 being able to put the car on cruise control.

So you don't have to think about how fast you're going.

So these are levels of automaticity.

I've only really come across this term, I would say three years ago when parents started to come to me and they would say Darius, we absolutely love the way you teach our kids to my map and our kids really find it super helpful in school.

But we've got a problem.

It's six months later since they've learned these skills and they just transformed home life.

But they go into school and they're writing notes as lists again, and not as maps.

Like they used to be able to what's going wrong with my kids.

Is this an attitude thing or they're scared of it And I'm like, I've got to go and research this, and that's when I came across automaticity and realize that Children with dyslexia often have weaker automaticity and it's harder to get an automatic habit and to keep an automatic habit.

And that's when I realized these Children still knew the habits, but they forgot that they knew the habit and they often forgot some of the key steps and so they stopped using it, not because they didn't want to, but because they actually forgot some of the steps or started to lose the habit or just forgot to do it.

And just even that habit of thinking, oh, it's time for me to take notes, let's map out visually compared to lists of notes.

They actually had to learn to automaticity and we haven't got there yet, we had taught them the skill, but we hadn't taught them how to become automatic at it.

And that for me was just such a big wake up call about how important automaticity is.

It's not just learning the skill, it's learning to become automatic at core skills.

Well, it's kind of funny because Automaticity is unconscious, so I think is a recurring theme that comes up for me, and, and it's actually just in my practice, which I've been doing for 20 years and it's something that's very real for me right now, because I feel like every year there's a theme of what kind of a pothole in education and this is something that's a little bit of a pothole in education right now.

I'm noticing in the math curriculum in the United States that they're not learning the math skills to automaticity, the basic core math skills, multiplication, at least, common multiples, adding and subtracting fractions.

What they're doing is they're teaching a lot of the kids multiple ways to do a problem, but not anything to automaticity and then they're moving on to the next thing.

And so the kids are just like they're juggling and they're dropping balls all over the place and they're really struggling.

I mean, just this week, I've had to parent phone calls about this very issue that their kids are struggling and they're feeling stupid, they don't want to go to school because they're no good at math.

And I work with them and I'll see like, wow, this is really higher level math that they're requiring them to do, they still don't have the core cognitive skills that they need to be great at math, nothing became automatic.

So you can imagine doing some of these harder math skills when you're foundation is weak and you don't have anything to automaticity.

But math is such a great example of an academic subject where we have to learn certain core skills to automaticity otherwise, if you're doing a complex algebra problem and you're having to say, oh what's seven times seven, I don't remember then you're just going to lose your whole train of thought and you're just it's like the Jenga the Jenga pile starts to crumble and then you don't feel like you're capable.

And it's a shame because I think learning to automaticity is something that's so important with certain core skills in reading and math and handwriting.

It's another one in the States we stopped teaching scripts.

So they're not getting enough.

Fine motor development and that fine motor development is so important for the cognition in general and allowing the hand to be able to automatically record quickly and automatically so that the kids aren't having to think about it.

Yeah.

Okay.

So you just talked about learning seven times seven and you're talking about the multiplication tables.

And I've got dyslexia.

You've got dyslexia as well, haven't you?

And that's like terror.

You're like, oh no, she's saying that's an essential requirement to become automaticity.

But are you - am I automatic at my multiplication tables?

Yeah.

I have a whole approach of teaching. I have a way of teaching them. It's called multisensory multiplication and division two melodies. So, I teach them, skip counting to melodies.

But I also have different strategies like seven times seven - I get kids to visualize. For example, imagine seven times seven is 49ers and I get them to visualize two football players with a seven on their jersey and they're playing football.

And so seven times seven is 49ers and you can go even farther with them where you can say, seven rhymes with heaven.

Imagine that they've hit each other really hard and they've gone to heaven and then I do drawings with them or we'll go on to Canva and create a collage so that they can see the image. We make it funny.

So ,I have different, different little, whether it's a rhyme or an image, it depends on the kid.

I really try to.

Okay, so you're okay.

That's fascinating because you're leading them to automatically know the answer, not just through brute force repetition.

No, I don't like it.

I don't like it.

And particularly for any kind of child with a learning disability because it really makes them feel incapable.

What we have to do is teach them memory strategies and make it fun if we turn it into a game and something funny, then they laugh and it gives them that dopamine burst and then they feel capable and they enjoy it.

So, I find that rote memorization is not enjoyable unless, okay, you put it on a balloon or a ball and you're throwing it back and forth, which I'd like to do as well and, and rote memorization.

Some people are really good at it actually, but, and if they are, then so be it.

But what that's fascinating.

Okay, so what I've noticed is, okay, so Automaticity is the ability to acquire a habit.

That is something that you repeatedly do that is a very valuable skill, but you don't want to always be thinking about which way to write your letters that way and so on.

You just want to be automatic at it.

So you can do a higher, it can become a tool to you rather than the main activity.

It becomes a part of the main activity, not the main activity or the main thing you're focusing in on.

Well, and even with the memory strategies, memory strategies are meant to get you to learn something so that it's accessible and long-term memory.

So you don't always remember seven times seven is 49ers.

Maybe you do.

I mean that that's a pretty easy one because you just have to throw on an ERS. And of course that's going to work better for the American crowd because we're more into the American football and most kids have heard of the 49ers, but I think having the child come up with their own memory strategy is key.

You really, really want them to be generating their own because it makes it more memorable and it makes it more fun.

They can make their own drawings, whatever it takes.

But it's easy to do that.

You just have to really pay attention to what they love to do.

Okay, so it's about becoming automatic.

That's something ideally in a way that works with one of your strengths.

Yeah.

Well, particularly if you have a kid with a learning disability or if it all shut down to learning, then you have to play back into the learning process first.

You've got to have pleasant associations with learning first, then they'll be open.

You got to get them past the learned helplessness and then once they have that, then you can learn, you can get to the point where you're learning to some kind of automaticity through repetition.

But that repetition doesn't have to be boring.

It could be a game.

You just drop the word learned helplessness.

Erica Yeah, I mean that's such a big word, you can't just drop that and then just walk straight past it learned helplessness.

What a powerful phrase.

How does learned helplessness tie in with automaticity?

And what is learned helplessness?

And how does it tie in with automaticity?

It's really the opposite of automaticity.

So if you have a sense of learned helplessness and means that you just don't think you're capable of learning.

So it's based on a study where they shocked dogs and they randomly shocked dogs and initially the dogs tried to get away from the shocker and when they realized that that they couldn't, they eventually just laid on the shocker.

They gave up.

And so a lot of kids that have a lot of problems in school and start to feel incapable.

They just give up.

They give up and they just accept the DS.

They accept the negative criticism and they just give up.

Which is and I see I have kids that walk into my practice like this.

And even adults that walk into my practice like this and it's heartbreaking.

You can see that you have to address that first.

You have to give them the confidence and the desire and the dopamine burst to want to learn.

Now.

Once they have that desire to learn, then you can build the habits to get to automaticity petition.

But the repetition should be fun.

Yeah.

I met a child who said I can't read and then it made me so sad.

He says I have dyslexia.

I can't read.

And I've got dyslexia as well.

And in that moment, I just felt so sad.

And I said, you can't read yet.

And I wrote a little thing about this once.

There was a time where I couldn't tie my shoelaces and I couldn't tell the time.

Now I can tell the time.

I can tie my shoelaces, I can read, I can write, I can remember where my keys are.

I can organize it myself out of a paper bag.

I can do this.

But there was a time where I couldn't yet, and I think that's the learned hopelessness.

The key word is yet.

It's funny you just called it learned hopelessness.

And that's brilliant because what was meant to be listening.

Yeah, because you've kind of lost your hope.

So that was that was a beautiful little mishap that wrapped the whole idea, yes.

Learned helplessness.

That turns into learned hopelessness.

Yeah, it really does.

Yeah.

Because the kids that that's that sense of really, really giving up.

Let's look at some of these other other academic areas that require this automaticity.

Because I think, yeah, I was going to do a we segue to that actually because one of the things that I've realized is that when you're dealing with Children, people who are neuro diverse and thinking to extremes, it's often an opportunity to learn how everyone else thinks because you've got an extreme example.

And one of those things with automaticity is when you find it difficult to become automatic at things, you have to choose a few key things that you determine.

You have to become automatic at because they are essential.

And are there any particular things that you think in life that are really essential to become automatic at?

Yeah.

Visualization.

Being able to visualize, being able to picture things in your mind's eye and people that follow me know that I think it's a secret weapon to learning.

But if you can become automatic and visualizing when you read before you write, people are like visualized before you right?

Yeah.

Picture what you want, the audience to see in their mind's eye and paint with words, I call it a no brainer, right?

If something becomes automatic, it's a no brainer makes sense, but visualization is super powerful, but if you're going into the academic areas reading, but hey, what makes reading memorable visualization?

Right?

And even handwriting?

How do you remember what, what it looks like?

Maybe visualization initially, until it just becomes automatic in your hands, just automatically form the letters.

But typing is another one that most, I don't know, most, but a lot of people never learn typing to automaticity because they're looking at their fingers and if you look at your fingers, you will never learn to be a touch type.

Er I didn't learn until my forties and I'm not completely a touch type er at this point, but almost, but I can remember the day where I was like, oh my God, I was thinking about something and my fingers were just going to the keys and I was like, that's that's spooky, that's how is that possible?

And it's just beautiful when it does.

And, and so I'm really, when I work with my students and teach them typing, I'm pretty strict about them not looking at their fingers.

I don't cover up their hands, but I just keep reminding them that if you look at your fingers, it's going to take longer and we want to get to the point where your fingers nowhere to go without you having to look at them and believe me, it will happen, but it will only happen if you don't look at them.

That's fascinating example.

Yeah, isn't it?

It really illustrates it beautifully.

And there's one program that is my favorite typing program and it's free, it's free.

It's called Dance Mat typing.

And it was created by BBC, the British Broadcasting Corporation.

That's right.

And I will put a link in the show notes, but it's just wonderful.

I like the way they go through it, they go through it slowly and you can repeat the lessons as many times as you want until it becomes automatic and it takes it into small chunks and it really goes into the steps of automaticity that I'd really like to share with the audience.

Yeah, yeah, let's do it.

So the question now is, how do you become automatic at something?

And let's use the example of touch typing as as a case study?

Absolutely.

Okay.

Number one, you have to make a conscious choice to acquire a habit.

Yeah.

Doesn't just happen, does it?

Yeah.

So I have a little boy that I'm teaching touch typing too right now, and he wasn't sold on it initially.

I'm good.

I'm good.

I've got my two little fingers and I just like to pick up the keys and I said, yeah, but you still have to look at the keyboard, don't you?

He's like, yeah, I was like, imagine if you didn't have to look at the keyboard and your fingers went there automatically and it opened up your mind to think about other things.

He was like, oh, that sounds pretty good.

The first thing I had to do was passed the first step, I had to get him to make that conscious choice to acquire the habit second.

You must focus all your attention on this task and manage distractions.

It is a biggie, it is a biggie and that's why I like to use dance mat typing because it's very engaging and it's really cute and there are lots of animal characters and they all have funny voices and they bring a lot of cuteness and joy into it, which gives you those little dopamine bursts and keeps you at least engaged on the activity I see.

So sometimes we think about focus as cutting away all the other distractions.

But what you're saying there is you're actually creating lots of elements which pull your focus into that activity. You're right, you're right and a lot of visual and auditory support and constant feedback so that when you're missing a key, when you're actually achieving a key and it's funny with him, he likes me to be involved and he's somewhat competitive.

So I will actually pull out another just a keypad and I'll do it next to him.

And so he kind of races me to see if he can get through the string a little bit faster than I can.

I mean I don't have a monitor or anything, but it's funny, I've noticed that it's helping my touch typing, it's kind of like another word for this is Gamification, you're gamifying it, aren't you?

So first of all, BBC have gamified it and then by you and him doing it together, you're gamifying it through competition.

And it's also bringing in that interaction, so doing it independently and I'm just on my phone checking my email.

It's not as fun for him and he just enjoys the company.

There are those people that are interactive learners, and they don't like to learn in isolation.

So, I always like to give my students that extra bit of attention so that they know that I'm really watching them and um and then I can really be present in the moment with them.

Another example here is if we could do two examples in parallel to triangulate, this is learning to drive a car manually.

You need to make the conscious choice to drive the car, you need to make the conscious choice to learn how to shift through the gears because everyone's been through that experience where you're like, I'm not interested in the gears, just make them happen.

I want to drive on the road and learn all the interesting stuff about moving around the road and so on, but if you mess up on the gears, you're constantly distracted from the actual road, which I find is I found that with my daughter when she was learning to drive, I found that with myself when I was learning to drive, I had to actually intentionally say, right, I'm going to nail doing the gears really well and really smoothly without having to think otherwise it's going to affect everything else.

You can even bring in the idea of learning an instrument, there's a lot of automaticity there that you can't get to a higher level of proficiency until you've gotten certain things that they're automatic, you need to know what key is, what sound things like that.

Anyway, let's move on to the third.

The third step of automaticity is to let go of any strategies that may impede the development of this habit.

Now that's interesting kind of strategies.

I can see that with the touch typing, you're going to say, looking down at the keys got in the way, didn't it?

Absolutely, yeah, there are certain things that were just used to doing it a certain way and we don't let go of that, so we never take it to the next level.

So, we can use our senses to actually get in the way if we're looking at something that we don't want to have to look at to become automatic.

Like if you're always looking at the gears, you want to just be able to move the gears based on a feel, not on a look, okay, so there's a strategy there that a beginner's strategy as it were, I looked down at the gears and I look back up, I look down at the gears, look back up and that's constantly undermining, acquiring the habit.

Yeah, I think so.

When we're talking about this, it really makes me kind of curious about this because really what we're trying to do is we're trying to delegate certain tasks to certain senses.

Like I want my touch to take over on something so that I can be looking somewhere else.

Yes, I hadn't thought about it that way, but for touch typing, it's really that I'm allowing touch to take over and touch of that middle finger on that little dimple on the F.

And that little dimple on the J.

It's a pointer finger on the J.

And yeah, people don't know this is your keyboard, I'm so unconscious about it, that oh well there you go, you're so automatic about it.

You just you just thought it was my middle finger, but it is my pointer finger.

Got you.

Yes.

So for those who don't know there's a bump on the J.

And the F.

And it lets you know that your pointer finger should start there so they can get on the home row.

And it's very funny because I don't think I really even noticed the bumps until much later in my life and once I was aware of them, I thought it's not interesting.

But that's a cool tactical strategy.

But yes, something can become so automatic that when we try to become conscious about it, our unconscious knows how to do it better than our consciousness.

So if someone says like, where's the G on the keyboard?

I'm like, hmm, let me think about that.

Whereas my fingers don't have to think about it.

They know where it is.

And I've got another thing here - let go of any strategies that may impede the development of this habit.

But another answer to that is find the right strategy that develops the habits replace it.

Because for example, when I learned to touch type, I was 21, the Apple Macs just came out at the university at law school.

And someone just gave me the one bit of advice said, you don't need to learn to touch type properly, but just do one thing.

Always put your pointer finger on those little dimples and type from there.

Just do that.

And eventually it might take a year, it might take three years, you will be touch typing automatically.

And sure enough, after a year and a half, I couldn't believe it, I could lift up my head, I could type two or three words that were about right, and then keep typing and I couldn't believe it was incredible, but I wasn't intentionally going through a program or anything like that.

But just that one little habit and that one little bit of advice transformed by typing over the space of a year.

So it was one small habit that was crucial that if I became automatic at that actually led to a big higher level of automaticity on learning to touch type.

So it was that one tiny little habit that became this kind of keystone habit of touch typing.

And that gets on to number four in the steps of automaticity, repeatedly learned small steps of information.

So for you, you repeatedly learned that small step of information and ultimately that led to some of the other ones.

But if you wanted to not take a year or two years by just following that strategy using different typing programs like dance mat typing.

And even if you're an adult turn the sound down.

So the voices annoy you.

It's a really good program.

It's a really, really helped.

It gives you each of those small steps, they teach you two keys at a time, teach you the home row and then they'll teach you to keys, maybe the E and the eye.

And they give you a lot of repetition and you can stay and repeat that level until you feel like, oh it's totally automatic, I don't have to think about it, but it's really well done.

Great.

And the next one is making your training progressively more difficult.

So you had a saying slow is careful or what was that 1?

No, slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Ah slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Oh right.

We talked about this once before, but I like to call slow careful because I don't like the word slow.

I know we talked about this I think just between you and me before whereas kids come in and I find out that they have for example a slow processing speed, and everyone's told them that they have a slow processing speed.

They really struggle with that and makes them feel like they are slow and when I tell them no, it's not that you're slow, it's that you're careful, they're so grateful.

They're like, oh my gosh, because that's just a word you just don't want to associate with yourself is slow, be careful.

Yeah, that's not so bad.

Yeah.

Yeah.

Yeah, I, I agree you can use carefully.

Smooth, smooth is fast.

I like slow is smooth, smooth is fast personally the military use it, the marines in America use it as a core phrase when they're teaching recruits how to do things like strip guns or be snipers or whatever.

They keep saying slow is smooth, smooth is fast and there's so much wisdom in that whether it comes to learning a musical instrument or learning to drive your car, whatever and it's often around these key steps find what the key steps are and you learn how to slowly move from one step to another so that it becomes a smooth transition from one step to another.

And once you master the smooth transition by doing it slowly, then you can become fast and that you can never become fast at it until you become smooth at the transitions.

And so that's where the slow is smooth, smooth is fast, really works.

And I think sometimes people want to kind of go from slow to fast at a skill and they just become a bit fumbling at it.

Like I remember my daughter learning how to drive her the car, she was into her 15th lesson I think, and she was doing all the road maneuvers really well, she was doing all sorts of things really well, but that classic thing about hesitating between 2nd and 3rd gear because you're going across the diagonal and you can hesitate and not quite do that quite right.

If you don't get that smooth, you will be worrying about that for the rest of your driving career and slightly distracted by that every time you're doing key maneuvers and you cannot afford that if you want to become a successful driver and a safe driver and an unconscious driver have unconscious competence.

You know, it's funny when you say unconscious driver, I'm like, oh, that sounds so scary, it doesn't, Yeah, yeah, but automatic at it and have that unconscious competence there and the key is slow is smooth, smooth is fast and the moment you slow it down because what I know normally find is if you're learning a habit or a key sequence and you keep tripping up on what often you just compromise and just go well okay and you just move on to the next level but you slow down slightly so that you get smooth at it and then you speed up.

That's often the key for me in developing automaticity and something awesome.

Yeah, that was a great example.

Thank you.

No six, decrease the time it takes to complete the task which is the second half of smooth as fast.

That's right.

Number seven practicing doing this task while doing something else concept.

Right?

So, you can be typing while you are thinking, you could be typing while you're talking.

Oh, I don't know if I could do that, I guess I could do that. You could be typing while you're looking at the wall, you could be driving and having a conversation, I can absolutely do that no doubt about it, but when I first started driving do not talk to me. I had to really concentrate on everything I was doing.

Yes.

And then the final one, the final step to automaticity as Pablo Picasso once said, learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.

Yeah.

And that's when you start becoming automatic at those rules, you're a pro at it, like a pro golfers.

Got a good swing and it's not intentionally thinking about everything, you know, driver, race, driver type, er hand writer, whatever, but there are times when you want to break the rules and change the switch up the way you do the gears and that's when the artistry comes into what you're doing, that's right.

Or, you can think of a dancer where they bring in their own style to it.

Or even the golfer, they might have a really interesting end to their swing or something, that's just a little bit more beautiful, right?

That's where you can add the beauty, it was a lot, but I just want to wrap it up with the benefits.

So, what I love about automaticity is it allows us to focus on other details, we were just talking about that.

So instead of focusing on spelling or grammar, we can put our energy into the content of writing.

So, I often tell my parents, if they say, well my daughter really struggling with writing, I'll say take some of the load, be their secretary, so that they are free to share their ideas and sometimes they're absolutely amazed, they're like, wow, I had no idea what an amazing writer my daughter was or what had happened.

Maybe the daughter had fine motor dexterity weaknesses and they were putting all of their attention on writing or maybe they were putting all of their attention on spelling or when you do that, guess what? There's no room left to think about great ideas.

But if you can actually take on some of those roles so that they can develop them, that can be really great.

But remember also to go back and learn some of those core skills to automaticity.

Well, I would also contend a little bit here, Okay, that sometimes you need to decide which skill you're going to prioritize for automaticity and sometimes you like, you're just saying you can spend so much time obsessing about spelling.

If you're dyslexic, that can be a real hindrance because you're obsessing so much about spelling that you cannot move on to any other skill because it takes so much of your cognitive load to just get the spelling right.

And so you end up needing decide am I going to be really good at spelling?

Am I going to be really good at structuring a story with some bad spelling mistakes in it?

And if you actually look at for example, objectively the marking guide for common core in America or G CSE or whatever in the U k.

40% of nearly every grade is given to how you organize the information. And about 10% in English is given to spelling and then maybe another 5, 5% spelling and another 10% to grammar and then another 15% to understanding the content and so on and you break it down, organizing the information, how you organize it.

Being automatic at that is a much bigger payoff in terms of automaticity.

And when it comes to typing.

I often have students that they'll be typing and they'll misspell something and they'll notice it and they'll be at the end of the line and they delete their whole sentence, That one spelling.

Have so many kids that do that, and I try to tell them, please just keep going, keep going.

Don't lose the train.

Just keep going.

Come back for the spelling later, finish the train because you just don't want to get them into the habit of always fixing their spelling as they go or any kind of typo or anything.

Just keep going the spell checks.

Pick all those things up and you can get things later, but get their ideas down because it's so fresh.

And when they go back and they're like, what was I thinking?

Oh, no, Okay.

So, so there were there were talking about becoming an automatic, again, your ideas down or automatic at typing or automatic at spelling, but you can't be trying to get automatic all three at once.

You've got to be.

I mean, I think great writers are Oh, yeah, of course they've kind of layered up.

Yes, yeah.

But you've got to zoom in on one particular thing and really focus in on it, right?

And then the next thing I wanted to talk about another benefit, is it.

And we've kind of talked about this, but I want to focus on it directly.

It frees the mind when we learned things to Automaticity.

It frees the mind and allows us to multitask and think on a higher level, on a more strategic level.

Often if you want to strategically think about what story you're going to tell, typing out, frees you up to do that.

But if you're constantly thinking about where the letters are and so on, it's pulling you away of strategically thinking about the story etcetera as a rudimentary example.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

But I think those are the those are the two major ones and then we can automatically know the proper assumptions of a situation based on our experiences.

Well, that's a bit deeper level.

It is a little bit deeper.

Absolutely.

I remember, what was that book that Malcolm Gladwell wrote, blink, blink, blink, I haven't.

So he talks about this where we make automatic assumptions about someone in a blink of an eye and often we think it's intuition, but often it's the culmination of this automaticity of reading situations that is coming to you in a blink.

Oh, that's cool.

That was such a great example.

Thank you for bringing that.

I will definitely put that in our show notes.

Well, this has been such a great discussion.

I love automaticity and and I hope the audience found this helpful because it's just another one of these secret weapons to learning if we could be more conscious of our learning so we can learn it to automaticity and it can become unconscious bravo.

And it's a key element in executive function skills.

It is a weakness in automaticity is one of the key areas of a weakness in executive functioning.

Well, we'll be talking more about executive functioning in future episodes and in the next episode we're going to be talking about working memory aren't we?

Yeah it's going to be what is working memory and how can we strengthen the skill?

And of course working memory is one of the three main components that we will be talking about in executive functions.

Yes and we haven't really talked about automaticity and the executive functions much.

And it might be an interesting conversation to have a bit further on in the podcast about this interplay between automaticity and the three aspects of executive function as well.

Sounds like a great idea.

Let's do it.

Great working memory in the next episode.

Thank you Erica.

Thank you Darius.

It's always a pleasure thank you for joining our conversation here at the personal brain trainer podcast.

This is Dr. Erica Warren and Darius Namdaran on check out the show notes for links to resources mentioned in the podcast and please leave us a review and shares on social media until next time.

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