For online owners who would like to improve their brain function and improve their business, there are ways to do just that. We often discuss how vital it is to sharpen one’s mind during our free webinar training. Reading these techniques, one might think they’re relatively simple. However, when it comes to taking care of our brains, applying the steps below are small investments for what can become a significant payoff in the future.
Success magazine says that it’s pivotal to resist distractions and get more sleep. If you get too distracted with matters that don’t improve your life, it’ll become much harder to be successful.
Distractions are nothing more than roadblocks to your success. They impede your ability to think at a high level. Sharp thinkers are not victims of distractions—they don’t get sidetracked by non-revenue-producing activities. Business leaders and iconic entrepreneurs have a results-driven approach. By resisting disruptions, they command their time and increase their bottom line.
Yes, running a business keeps you busy all day and up late at night, but don’t let your entrepreneurial pursuits deplete you. Sleep is a powerful business ally and not getting enough can lead to unwanted consequences. According to the National Sleep Foundation, skimping on ZZZ’s impacts your ability to focus, retain information and sustain productivity. These outcomes are counterproductive to your business, as being well-rested and alert are cornerstones of sharp thinking. Shoot for at least seven hours of sleep a night to recharge your body and turbo-boost your mind.
Want to learn about a few creative ways to sharpen your mind? Medium recommends switching hands for a while to train your brain to try something new! Teaching your mind new things helps work the muscle, and similarly, making more social connections can do the same.
If you’re right-handed, make an effort to frequently use your left hand to perform activities and vice-versa. Think simple, everyday tasks such as brushing your teeth, using a fork at dinner or changing the channel on the television. If you’re feeling really adventurous you can even start practicing writing opposite of how you normally do. Do this often, and you’ll be amazed at what can come of it. By using your non-dominant hand, it will challenge your brain to work harder, thus strengthening a part that isn’t used often and spurring the production of growth-stimulating molecules.
Make more social connections
Research has shown that social deprivation can have severe negative effects on our cognitive abilities. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pencil in nightly dinner dates with friends (our alone time is important, too). But it’s actually quite easy to add a little more social interaction into our days. Next time you find yourself at the grocery store, don’t surrender to the self-checkout register. Stopping for gas? Go inside to pay the clerk rather than just swiping your card at the pump. These small efforts to mingle with others daily can greatly improve our cognitive dexterity.
To keep your mind sharp, Forbes says to stay far away from sugar. They also tell us to tell yourself first thing in the morning what some of your life goals are and how you plan to achieve them.
Avoid Processed Sugar And Artificial Sweeteners
Sugar is the culprit behind those mornings that start out productive but somehow end with a nap. Sugar gives you a burst of energy that quickly fades and leaves you feeling exhausted. Since most people have diets high in sugar, this explains the constant need for more coffee.
However, it’s also been found that artificial sweeteners like aspartame can actually inhibit your brain’s ability to function normally, and can eventually lead to neurodegeneration.
Begin And End Each Day By Reading Your “Chief Aim” Aloud
In his best-selling book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says that in order to attract what you want in life, you have to embed it deeply in your subconscious. He instructs readers to get clear on their “chief aim,” which is where they want to go in life or what it is they want to achieve, and encourages them to write that chief aim down.
Each morning and each night they should read their chief aim aloud, embedding it firmly in their vision. Over time, Hill says, your subconscious will end up attracting opportunities for you to bring that chief aim to life.
Meditation And Other Brain-Calming Practice
Meditation has quickly taken root in the world of business and fast-paced entrepreneurial communities desperate for mental clarity.
It’s been found that meditation practices can do everything from lowering anxiety to increasing productivity. Meditation has also been found to increase feelings of self-esteem and cognitive function, and can improve our brains’ ability to focus.
Another way to sharpen your mind, according to Inc., is by engaging in intellectual conversations. A few other ways to improve your mind is by taking breaks (yes, your brain needs breaks too!) and taking online courses to learn something new.
Engage in stimulating conversation.
In real life–outside the computer or mobile phone screen. The art of conversation requires that we think on our feet, and conversing with someone smarter than you can be a fantastic exercise in quick thinking as well as an opportunity to learn something new. Seek out interesting people and engage them in conversation, however brief.
Take online courses.
You can learn just about anything online–even on a mobile device. Commit to learning something new every day, whether it's during your transit to work, on your lunch break, or in the five spare minutes you have between meetings. Better yet, make it something super useful, like coding.
Give your brain a break.
You can't be “on” all the time. Make productivity apps a part of your daily routine, to automate redundant tasks that take up your time and brain space.
You may have heard of this suggestion before, which is to play more mind games! Medium explains how the brain gets lazy, but playing games can help it improve.
The brain can be lazy. Once it realizes it has mastered something, it stops trying.
But there are steps you can take to increase the range of mental motion by activating different parts of the brain. The trick is to constantly push your limits. Brainteasers and other problem-solving games are useful here. Here are some options:
Sodoku. To complete a Sudoku puzzle you have to look ahead and follow trails of consequences—if you put a six in this box, that one must be an eight and this one a four, etc. This “planning” helps improve short-term memory and concentration.
Lumosity. Lumosity is one of the most-developed brain training websites around. It provides fun brain training and mental fitness games, tests, and activities backed by science. You’ll challenge your brain, and keep track of your results and improvement. In addition to the website, apps are available for iOS and Android, so you can train on the go.
Crossword puzzles. Crosswords are a classic brain trainer, accessing not only verbal language but your memory from many dimensions of knowledge. Studies have shown that crossword puzzles may delay memory loss and preserve cognitive function.
Peak. This free app provides more than 40 fun games to help you exercise your brain. Peak is designed to improve your memory, sharpen your problem-solving skills, and develop your mental agility. Each game has been developed by neuroscientists and the app offers in-depth insights to help you track your progress.
You should also do mental math whenever possible. Instead of whipping out your calculator app, calculate the tip in your head or try to total up the amount for items purchased at the grocery store.
Mind Body Green has a few other health-related suggestions. It makes sense because if you’re physically and mentally happy, then your mind should follow. But, it takes some practice so try your best to follow these suggestions!
Take up cognitive training exercises.
The mind stays sharp when the plasticity of the brain is maintained. Brain plasticity refers to the brain’s ability to constantly change over the course of a person’s lifetime. And this plasticity can be maintained — and better yet, improved — by engaging in cognitive training exercises, which challenge your intellectual capacity.
You can take up playing chess, learning a new language, or juggling. And playing boardgames can stimulate your thinking, as well as your hand-eye coordination. You can even do something simple like learn a new direction to drive to work, type or scroll with the opposite hand, or combine your senses by eating while listening to music with your eyes closed.
Exercise your body — for your brain.
Research shows that physical exercise enhances cognitive function. One reason might be because it increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that improves learning, memory and higher thinking by stimulating growth of new neurons and helping existing neurons stay alive.
Walk outdoors where the terrain isn't predictable, so that you're perfecting your balance and working your foot-eye coordination at the same time. Yoga or tai chi also enable you to practice coordination, flow of movement, balance and the engagement of different muscle groups. And don't forget to fit in some aerobic exercise as well, getting your heart rate up for at least 15 minutes a few times a week.
Continue to improve your mind and learn more real business skills during our next free webinar training. We look forward to seeing you there!
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