Mental energy is a finite quality. Every day we use it, and every night we restore it through sleep. During the brain’s working time in the day, we have to maximize its productivity. There are many advices floating around on how to get the most out of your brain. But from general advice to practice goes a long way. And not everyone requires their brain to do the same type of tasks. As a marketeer, here are some key practical notes that work best for me.
OXYGEN. Probably the most underrated activity of our daily activities as management – breathing. Breathing feeds the body. And the brain. In meditation, even if for a few minutes, focusing on your own breathing can actually change your brain genes: inflammation ones turn off and metabolism-oriented ones turn on. This helps focus. And also decreases the likelihood of headaches at the end of the day.
WANDER. Is it normal that you catch yourself blank staring often? Yes it is. It is one of the most important times of inspiration and connecting the dots. Don’t fight it. In fact, embrace it! According to research by psychologist Peter Killen, this is not a productivity loss. In fact, you are stimulating creativity by free association and analogizing.
SHUT DOWN. Different people require different sleeping times. But all of us require it. You just need to get enough of it. Sleep deprivation is not only a killer for productivity and focus, but also it makes people more edgy and less empathic. Everything takes double the effort. And you cannot afford that. You need maximum efficiency of the limited amount of time you have of mental energy. So sleep well and do what you have to do to get it.
SNACK. The brain is packed with neurons, which are in part made of omega-3 fatty acids. There is nothing better than a mid-day snack of nuts or flaxseeds to keep your brain well fed. Another option is to make fish part of your diet, especially salmon and tuna. These are also rich in omega-3. To fight off oxidation of the brain, also munch on dark fruits such as blueberries or pomegranates. With these two snacks a day and a fish meal, you are set for maximum power.
EXERCIZE. This is not about mental exercise. In fact, your brain is connected to your muscles. So put on aerobic exercise 5 times a week for 30 minutes minimum, it increases the brain activity and helps process information faster. Plus, you can shed off some pounds that you gained by working those long hours.