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Weekly 3: Choosing Charts, Time vs. Aging & Rules of 3


Idea Journal Weekly 3

October 1 · Issue #2 · View online
We combine 3 ideas to help you think differently and be more creative.

#1. When deciding which type of chart to use in a presentation, use The Chart Chooser to help ensure that the design aligns with the story you’re telling.
Andrew Abela, current Provost and former Business School Dean at The Catholic University of America, developed The Chart Chooser as part of the Extreme Presentation Method for more effectively conveying complex information.
#2. Time does seem to speed up as we age, and several theories help explain why.
Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert, in an interview on NPR’s TED Radio Hour, says the reason is that people at different ages remember time differently. Older people have lived longer and have more memories than younger people, and so when asked to reflect on their lives, older people are essentially covering more ground.  
Christian Yates, a Lecturer in Mathematical Biology at the University of Bath, points to a few other theories, including the following: that the brain takes longer to process new experiences, and if older people have fewer new experiences, then time may seem to go by more quickly from their perspective. 
#3. Rule(s) of three: thinking in thirds has successful applications in multiple fields, from photography to management consulting.
The Rule of Thirds is a common guideline for composition in visual art and design, as professional photographer Bryan Peterson explains in this video.
And as former McKinsey consultant Ameet Ranadive writes in his Medium blog post on the subject, a similar framework can be useful in a business context:
“I observed that the Rule of 3 was actually pretty effective in persuading clients to take action. Why? Three reasons:
  1. Your argument gets their attention and is memorable
  2. You are forced to choose the three most important reasons
  3. You sound more structured, confident and decisive when you speak"
In fact, rules of three show up in a variety of other disciplines as well, from statistics to scuba diving.
Quote of the Week: "Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it."
- Joshua Foer in his book Moonwalking with Einstein
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