Sometimes, you feel like you’re at the top of your game. You’re remembering everything, getting done your tasks, maintaining your health, and more. Then, one day, you wake up and you can’t focus or barely keep your eyes open past 3 PM. What’s going on? It turns out that boosting brain power and productivity are related, and if you do these five things, you can keep your cognitive abilities to work more efficiently than ever before:
1. Think About Your Internal Clock
Although everyone tends to structure their lives differently, but is your life dancing to your circadian rhythm or does it have two left feet? Work with your biology, not against it. By structuring your day so you are working when you are most energized and rest when you’re less productive, you can maximize your efficiency. For example, if you are a night owl, then you should be doing work later in the day. Conversely, if you wake up at 5AM ready to work, then get done the bigger projects in the morning.
2. Eat Well and Exercise
Another way to work with your biology is to eat nutritious food and get plenty of exercise. You can gain more mental clarity by nixing simple carbohydrates and consuming foods with high quality omega-3 fatty acids. Sugar causes energy-draining inflammation. Foods high in magnesium and choline should also be stars of your diet.
Working out is a great way to maintain brain health, too. Exercise helps reduce stress, aids in creativity, and can wake you up. Aim to walk at least 2 miles every day and about 30-minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise at least 5 days a week.
3. Be Open To New Experiences
Learning something new is a different kind of workout by stimulating growth of neural pathways in the brain. Try picking up a new language; learn how to crochet or knit or make arts and crafts; take community classes or join a meetup group focused on something you enjoy. By staying social and getting out of your comfort zone, you make your brain more powerful.
4. Manage Stress
Being stressed burns energy and changes your brain over time. You will lose your ability to focus, and your ability to develop strategies will suffer. Fortunately, the first 3 points already discuss ways to limit stress, but if you’re having trouble still, try acupuncture, yoga, meditation, taking a break from work, or a combination of those four to de-stress.
5. Sleep Well
When you’re sleep deprived, cognitive functioning, such as critical thinking and problem solving, gets challenging. Sleep is necessary for memory, stress regulation, and your health in general. Turn off the electronics at least 30 minutes before getting shut-eye. Aim to get at least 7 hours of quality sleep at night to wake up refreshed.
These five tips can help you make better choices throughout the day and promote better brain health. Treat your body well and remember to get enough size—that’s all it takes to be more productive every single day.