Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHealth of the University of Texas at Dallas, offers these tips for keeping your brain sharp:
• Quiet your mind. Your brain solves complex problems when you step away to reflect on ideas rather than pushing nonstop. Schedule periods of mental downtime.
• When writing your to-do list, focus on the two items that are the most pivotal to your success, will have the most impact and will require the most attention and strategic thinking.
• Transform your thinking and leadership skills. Stretch and challenge your mind to construct deeper-level, abstracted ideas. Continually interpret incoming information as often as possible. For example, practice devising a newspaper-like headline to capture the essence of what you experienced during a meeting or social gathering.
• Expand your passion. Your brain is energized when motivational juices are flowing.
• Get a good night’s sleep, seven to eight hours. Your brain connects knowledge and experiences in new ways when at rest. Even a quick nap invites mind renewal and innovation.
• Don’t check your e-mail before bedtime! Give your brain a break.