3 Strategies to Keep Your Brain in Top Form

Does your brain feel so full that it just might explode? Our lives are so jam-packed these days! Take the demands of our normal personal and professional lives. Then add in the speed with which we receive new information. It’s no wonder our brains are so maxed out!

The issue is that we need our brains in order to be productive, regardless of whether we’re considering professional or personal tasks. Here are three ways we can keep our brains in top form and thus maximize our productivity.

Declutter your mind.
Our brains have enough going on without making it retain more information that it really needs to!

The best way to declutter your mind is to have external methods of capturing information. I know we like to think that our brains can be our calendar and task list, but invariably as we get busier (or older) we’ll start missing appointments or forgetting tasks if we solely depend on our brains.calendar

  • Use a calendar. It can be paper or electronic. It can be day-at-a-glance, week-at-a-glance or month-at-a-glance. The days can be vertical or horizontal. Finding the calendar that functions the way you need it to is critical.
  • Write scheduled appointments in it and remember to include drive time when you block out the appointment. You can choose whether or not to schedule time for individual tasks. I highly recommend it. Otherwise, when will you organize your electronic documents? Someday isn’t a day of the week!
  • Utilize a task list. First, differentiate between projects and tasks. Projects entail multiple steps and usually take more than one day. Tasks can be completed in one step and require a limited period of time. A task list can be paper or electronic. You’ll need to decide whether you have one master to-do list or different lists, such as one each for personal and professional tasks. It’s also important to have a format that works well for you.

Of course, calendars and task lists don’t capture every piece of information you need to retain. In the third article of this newsletter, Where to Download Information so it Doesn’t Have to Stay in Your Brain, I’ll discuss methods for capturing other important types of information.

2. Nurture your brain.yawn
Our brain may be encased in bone, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need attention.

First, it’s important to protect the brain. Wearing helmets when biking, skateboarding, roller-skating or playing contact sports is one of the easiest ways to guard the brain.

Second, it’s essential to nourish the brain. One way it to keep it hydrated by drinking adequate amounts of water. Another way is to get lots of oxygen. Yes, I realize you’re pretty good at breathing on a regular basis, but many people fail to take deeper breaths using their diaphragm. Trying taking five-to-ten deep breaths a couple of times a day. Besides getting more oxygen to your brain, it just might help relax you for a moment or two.

Third, getting sufficient sleep is vital. Yes, I know you think you can survive on six hours of sleep a night, but science has proven that adults need seven-to-eight hours a night minimum. Yes, occasionally you can get by on six hours of sleep, but on a regular basis in order to be your most productive, you’ll need more sleep.

3. Identify brain-based conditions.
Attention Deficity Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Traumatic brain injury (TBI). Clinical depression. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Dementia. These are just a few conditions that affect the brain.

The most important part of identifying the existence of a brain-based condition is the ability to pinpoint appropriate supports. These can be therapeutic, medicinal, behavioral, or a combination.

Here are some examples using the conditions listed at the beginning of this section:

ADHD usually impacts a person’s executive functions, which are crucial to helping us manage the complexity of life. The right intervention can help someone with ADHD manage their deficiencies more successfully.

TBI can be mild or severe. It can cause difficulties such as memory problems and attention deficits among other challenges. Depending on the severity, a person may need help relearning basic routines or discover new methods of completing tasks.

People with clinical depression can have difficulty concentrating and remembering details among other symptoms. A combination of medication and therapy or other appropriate treatments helps people regulate their condition.

OCD often greatly impacts someone’s ability to complete tasks because they get interrupted by their obsessions and/or compulsions. Cognitive behavioral therapy can reduce the obsessions and/or compulsions so the person can complete activities in a more reasonable period of time.

Dementia as well as other memory-based diseases affect anything that involves memory. While they most often occur in people as they age, it is possible to have early on-set of some of these diseases. Obviously a correct diagnosis is crucial as there are medications for some memory-based syndromes which can reduce the pace at which the person’s memory decreases.

This is a very cursory overview of just a few brain-based conditions. The most crucial advice is to get any brain-based condition diagnosed by a qualified professional and seek appropriate treatment.

Minding Your Matters professionals have special training in working with clients affected by the most common brain-based conditions. Contact us today and discover how we can make your professional or personal life more productive.

Janice Russell | 919-467-7058 | Certified Organizer Coach | By using this site, you agree to the Terms and Conditions associated with Ordered Minds and its parent company, Minding Your Matters®, Inc. © 2010-2017, Minding Your Matters®. All rights reserved.