Step away from the soda machine. Put down that energy drink. There are better ways to stay focused and speed up your performance than busying your brain with caffeine and sugar. In fact, there are things you can do throughout your workday—and at home — to jumpstart the cognitive skills your brain uses to think, learn and perform.
“Cognitive skills are the tools that help us remember, learn and recall everything,” says Dr. Ken Gibson, author of “Unlock the Einstein Inside
” and for whom The Gibson Institute of Cognitive Research
is named. “These include things like logic & reasoning, attention, visual processing, auditory processing, long-term memory, working memory and processing speed. Weak cognitive skills can make it more difficult to remember important information, organize paperwork, prioritize tasks, manage your time and stay on task with ongoing interruptions.”
Ready to try some on-the-job brain boosters? Check out our chart below:
Do you feel your brain working? Consider keeping the chart by your desk to do the exercises throughout the week. Just a few minutes a day can help you exercise important mental skills you use every day at work and in life.
“For adults seeking a more intense, customized program that will strengthen specific cognitive skills that are weak, I recommend one-on-one brain training,” says Michelle Hecker Davis, director of LearningRx Chattanooga. “Personal brain training starts with a cognitive skills assessment to determine which skills are weak. It’s important to have specific measurements of different skills and not guess. For example, new research shows that many people who have been diagnosed with ADHD not only have weak broad attention skills — many also have weak long-term memory, processing speed and working memory. That’s why it’s vital that an initial assessment helps determine exactly which skills need to be targeted and trained.”
Eddie Russell, president of ERMC
, a total facility service company with 3,500 employees in 36 states, is a firm believer in one-on-one brain training. Russell says that working with a LearningRx brain trainer helped him strengthen all his cognitive skills.
According to Davis, while every person is unique and there’s no guarantee everyone will have the same results, Russell’s enthusiasm is common among graduates, with 9.7 out of 10 customer satisfaction ratings.
“Before I knew it, I could say all the names of the American presidents forward and backwards in under 40 seconds each way,” Russell says. “It wasn't that I needed to know the names of the presidents—the benefit was in how I learned them, and how the method could be applied to other areas in my life. I saw benefits early on and became totally committed to the program and set it as a priority.”
Halfway through the program, Russell noticed “many amazing results.”
“I can work longer on tasks, block out distractions and use memory techniques to remember vital information,” he says. “I no longer avoid difficult tasks, and can now remember small details and entire conversations. It’s also easier to understand foreign accents now due to the auditory processing training. One of the best parts is that I’m now regularly reading for fun because the task isn’t as arduous as it was before brain training.”
Find more brain games and exercises from LearningRx here