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A world’s first – someone else’s Tip!

Tags: Impact | Do more

26th January

I’ve been writing Tuesday Tips for a few years now.

And they’ve always been my own.

But this week’s is different…

I received a super-useful email recently. It was so useful, I wanted to share it with you.

It’s from international speaker Phil Hesketh. It reads…

We can overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year.

Adopt the TNT approach and achieve more in 2016.

Hypnotists have long since used the power of suggestion to influence the way that people think and act. For instance, it can help us to achieve the three most popular New Year Resolutions of getting fit, losing weight and quitting smoking. But how do you start and how do you keep it going?

The answer is by TNTs, or Tiny Noticeable Things. It’s the term I use to describe the little ‘nudges’ that can improve lifestyles, make people more productive, increase happiness, and sell more product. I know you’re just begging for some examples so here’s five of the best:

  1. A factory in Illinois improved the lighting conditions for workers and researchers and noticed a marked improvement in their productivity. However, when the researchers left, productivity fell to the previous level. Why? It was the act of being watched that actually made them work faster.
  2. A Stanford psychologist parked two cars in two different locations. One in the Bronx and one in the California city of Palo Alto. Within days, the car in the Bronx was ripped apart. However, the one in Palo Alto remained untouched – until a sledgehammer was placed on its roof and it was immediately trashed. West coast villains just needed a nudge.
  3. In Holland, a researcher carefully left a fully-addressed envelope protruding from a post box with a €5 note clearly visible sticking out of it. 13% of passers-by stole the money. When graffiti and litter was added to the scene thefts doubled. The ‘nudge’ suggested that it was okay to commit a crime so a lot more people did.
  4. Still in Holland, a researcher at the University of Radboud put lemon scent in half of a train’s carriages which resulted in 50% less rubbish being discarded by passengers. The experiment was repeated by London Midland Trains on the Birmingham to Lichfield line with the result being exactly the same as in Holland albeit arriving twenty minutes late.
  5. Similarly, researchers in Cardiff reported a 65% drop in litter (no pun intended) when they painted footprints on the pavement leading to a waste bin. My wife has since adopted this technique to get me safely home from the pub. You should see our house on a Friday night. Absolutely packed.
  6. So, it seems that getting people to act or think the way you want them to doesn’t always require a great deal of effort. You just need to arm them with some ‘Tiny Noticeable Things’ and let them do the rest.

So whatever your goals are for 2016 start - and keep up - the TNTs.

Refuse that piece of cake this afternoon, walk up the stairs rather than take the lift, when you are at the office pick up a piece of litter in the car park, throw away any chipped cups, always have clean shoes….

Create an environment where people are more likely to behave in the way you want them to. Where THEY get to care about all the TNTs.

We tend to overestimate what we can do in a day but underestimate what we can do in a year. Adopt the TNT approach and achieve more in 2016.

Nudge nudge, wink wink, as Eric Idle might say. Why not give it a go?

Happy New Year!

Thanks Phil. I really like this.

For loads of reasons – one being the first “T” – Tiny. Because the changes Phil’s suggesting are tiny, you can do them quickly. Like right now! Which makes this week’s Action Point pretty obvious…

Action point

As Phil suggests, improve things for you and others by doing a TNT.

Because it’s tiny, it won’t take you long. Why not do it right now?

One more simple action: if you liked this tip and want more to hear more of Phil’s ideas:

Until next Tuesday…