“Z” is for Zeigarnik effect

“Z” is for Zeigarnik effect

The unfinished task effect or Zeigarnik’ effect was first discovered a hundred years ago in early 1920 by Lithuanian-Russian psychologist Dr. Bluma Zeigarnik who has found that the human brain remembers unfinished or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks because the brain cannot leave things unresolved and wants to find the answer to feel comfortable as otherwise unfinished tasks will keep silently stealing energy of the brain and drain mental resources.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".

When we have to start a bulky task the brain automatically concentrates on the hardest bit so any task we think of may look challenging and we’re redirecting our attention to all sorts of other needless things that prevent us from starting the task. For example, all of a sudden it becomes extremely important to write someone a message but after the message is sent a desire to review the article appears, then we find ourselves in need of a sip of a coffee or tidying up a workplace and so on. It happens because we feel that we’re not ready enough to deal with the task we know that has to be done. Time is passing by but nothing is happening and it never will until the first step is made.

A job begun is a job half done.

In most of the cases getting started is the key to unlocking creativity and inspiration and after the task is accomplished  we realize that it wasn’t so scary at all. It is because after the first step is done Zeigarnik’ effect jumps in and makes us focus more on the task to get it done.

So how to make a first step?

There is one of the methods we use everyday without even noticing called  “metacognition”, literally translated as “thinking about thinking” that means ability to understand and regulate one’s own thinking. The most common example of metacognition in everyday life is being aware of having difficulty memorizing people’s names and reminding ourselves of the importance of memorizing the name of a person we’ve just met. 

So before doing something we know that has to be done but still unable to start due to the lack of  courage we should countdown 5-4-3-2-1-GO and make a sudden move towards the action!

What to do with the absence of inspiration and enthusiasm?

To start a challenging task we should split the entire task into three simple consequential steps with the right to withdraw following the accomplishment of the third step. Then execute each step one by one and cross out after completion. This process helps the inspiration to break in and unlock creativity so we suddenly realise that we’re unable to stop half way until the job is fully done.

We’ll never know until we try.

Uncertainty is also good at draining our brain strength. It often happens when we have a question but don’t know the answer, however, things get worse in the situation when we have a question but something prevents us from asking. For example: 

      • an employer putting pressure on an employee that sustained an injury due to the non-fault accident at the workplace to remain silent and not enquire about pursuing Employment Liability claim.
      • a faulty driver discourages the injured passenger from asking questions about filing a Road Traffic Accident compensation claim.

So in order to stop the thoughts from eating the brain alive whilst speculating on what would have happened if our right to claim compensation would have been successfully executed why not to countdown from 5 to 0 and get in touch with specialist solicitors for free advice on whether it is possible to file a compensation claim for pain and suffering as well as material losses such as loss of earnings and amenity, medical expenses, travel expenses etc.

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