Both in personal and professional worlds, your mental acuity and your productivity will ultimately determine how and if you reach your goals. As the famous detective Poirot would say, you need your little grey cells to do their work in order to succeed without feeling burnt out and exhausted after wrapping up every single task. Just like you’d hit the gym to work on your core or take classes to master a new language (also brilliant for your brain power), your cognitive capabilities can be improved and worked on, regularly.
Boosting your brain power takes practice, and you should look for effective ideas that will be particularly helpful for you and your lifestyle. Not everyone loves sudoku or memory games, but there are other ways you can maximize your brain power and be your best, most productive self every single day. Here are a few options to add on your list when you’re finding it difficult to focus.
Try playing a new instrument
Playing a musical instrument is a challenge for all your senses, but it also pushes you to boost your hand-eye coordination, teaches you to breathe better, and not to mention figuring out the scales, different playing techniques, and the musicality of it all. Playing music is the ultimate brain tease, and a great addition to your daily routine to boost your mental skills and productivity.
Your memory will be better, you’ll focus much more easily on your work, and music is an extremely effective stress-reducing activity to help your brain release all those happy hormones. Although you’ll learn to multitask while playing an instrument, it’s still better to single-task during work, and use that extra focus to be more productive.
Choose brain-boosting foods
Your brain gets hungry, and when you spend hours working on a difficult project, you can rest assured that your mind will feel exhausted much like your body would after a long workout. Creative thinking, negotiations, lengthy meetings and convoluted conversations, they all tend to drain your brain, which is why you should tailor your daily menu to include some tasty treats to boost your brain power.
Preventing mental decline starts with citrusy fruits like oranges and lemons, because your brain thrives on a good intake of vitamins and minerals. Then again, healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are truly essential for optimizing your brain power. Add a handful of nuts such as walnuts into your snack or a meal, and your brain will thank you.
Go for smart drinks
Just like certain foods have the power to protect the health and longevity of your brain, certain drinks are designed to do the same, especially at a moment’s notice, when you truly need to put your best foot forward, be it in a professional setting, or at home, tackling one of your own projects. To elevate your mental energy and focus quickly, you can enjoy nootropic drinks made of natural ingredients like ginkgo biloba that will boost your productivity, memory, and alertness.
These lightly carbonated drinks are very effective in supporting your problem-solving skills, and they help you get creative without making you feel jittery or stressed. On the contrary, you’ll think better on your feet without strain and tension, so that you can work productively and keep your levels of concentration high throughout the day.
Put together a jigsaw puzzle
Some fun never hurt anyone, right? Plus, jigsaw puzzles are known to help people relax and de-stress, which means you’ll be dealing with two relevant and related issues at once. Leading a fast-paced life, working long hours, and spending countless days surrounded by tense people doing their own work takes a toll on anyone. It’s only natural to find yourself feeling overwhelmed and trying to be more productive and less stressed.
Jigsaw puzzles are a brilliant, yet simple way to spend some quality, meditative time teasing your brain from that visual perspective. Your memory will become better, you’ll practice spotting details, and become better at slowing down your chaotic thoughts to focus on the task in front of you. It’s a calming activity that will teach you to focus, spot detail, recognize patterns better, and give your best to mastering the task at hand.
Expand your language skills
We’ve already mentioned the idea of learning a new language, which can be a tremendous challenge if you pick a language with few similarities to your native tongue. However, if you’re not too eager to commit to such a long-term process, why not enrich the vocabulary and the knowledge of the languages you already speak?
Try an app like PowerVocab or WordUp to start practicing English and learn new words along the way. Gamification has made these apps the go-to for many business leaders, as practicing your language enhances your ability to use your existing vocabulary, while expanding it at the same time.
Some days will always be better than others, and you’ll find yourself more or less productive on days when you have too much on your plate, but these strategies are sure to help you for the short and the long haul. Some are both de-stressing and fun, others are both healthy and challenging for your mind, so you can mix and match to find the best strategy for yourself, and use your mind to its full capacity.
Sophia Smith is a lifestyle and social media blogger, and graphic and UX designer. She is an aesthete and photography lover by heart who absolutely loves everything that includes visual communication. Lately, Sophia writes about digital marketing topics, from content to social. She has contributed to a number of publications including Women Love Tech, Leader Maker, Legal Reader, BizCover, Businessing Mag, Ruby Connection, Monterey Premier, Pix Teller and many others. You can find out more about her writing by following her on Twitter.