Our brains are not only amazing, they’re resilient. With a dose of effort and intention, we can actually make them work more productively. As the Center for Brain Health puts it, “Here are five scientifically proven tips we have discovered to make your brain smarter:”*
Brainpower of None: “Give your brain necessary downtime. Your brain can reboot after a few minutes of rest. Quieting your mind helps improve decision-making, problem-solving, and productivity…. Make brain downtime a priority by using the 5×5 principle: step away and disengage for five minutes at least five times a day to free your mind for your next ‘aha’ moment.
Brainpower of One: Stop multitasking: On average, we work for three minutes with laser focus. Once interrupted, it takes an average of 20 minutes to return to the original task. A task that would normally take 25 minutes to complete without interruptions takes more than two hours…When working on a task of substance, give it your full attention. Turn off the phone and email alerts and find a quiet place to complete the task at hand.”
Brainpower of Two: “Organizing your to-do list strategically will boost your productivity…. Prioritize! Identify the two most critical items on your to-do list each day. Dedicate uninterrupted, prime brain time to completing them before moving on to less significant items.”
Power of Deep and Wide: “Rise above rote thinking. Synthesized thinking takes advantage of rich repertoires of knowledge, experience, and expertise. It also strengthens the connections between different parts of your brain. Your brain is quickly jaded by routine, because it was built to dynamically shift between details and the big picture. It hates information downloading…. Translate your world by thinking like a reporter and working your brain to construct provocative, thought-filled ideas. When taking in large amounts of information, try to explain it in a few sentences…. Power your important email messages with simple but thought-provoking subject lines.”
Brainpower of Innovative Thinking: “Say no to status quo. Our brain was wired to be inspired. It thrives when facing new challenges. Everyone has the potential to break new ground and be more inventive at any age. Brain plasticity studies indicate… declining brain capacity can be positively altered in the healthy brain by exercising innovative thinking. Instead of doing things the same way, constantly strive to ratchet up and revitalize your thoughts and behaviors in the spirit of novelty…envision a unique outcome.”
What fantastic advice for us as we all write on!
*Once again, all quoted material is from the fabulous Center for Brain Health: http://www.brainhealth.utdallas.edu/