“What did I come in here to get?” I mumbled under my breath, pausing to refocus on my mission.
During the presentation, I said, “The fourth step is…” when a loud noise at the back of the room interrupted my thought which created a long pause as I searched for the elusive word.
Can you remember how often you “forget” something?
Brain time shares
For your encouragement, it’s not likely you’re suffering from short term memory loss or amnesia. Michael Rodney Osborne, MBiol, UMD reports his findings.
The phenomenon is partly explained by the single-channel hypothesis that has been kicking around in neuroscience and psychology for some time. We are just NOT very good at multitasking. When we do try to multitask, our brain copes with the challenge by time sharing. That is, it hops from one thought (or task) to the next in quick succession, giving a short period of attention to each item in the cue. It works poorly.
So please, stop interviewing for “ability to multitask.” Don’t brag about your ability to multitask. And, forget listing “multitasking” as a strength.
Let it go.
There, doesn’t that feel better?
Now, embrace the freedom to focus on one thing.
Five mind-building strategies
- Focus on one task at a time — “multitasking” disrupts connections and places more of the stress hormone cortisol into your brain; pursue ONE-task at a time.
- Manage technology — hoping back and forth between devices builds an “ADHD brain.” Turn them off once in a while, schedule blocks of time to be productive, check email 2 or 3 times a day.
- Get good fat — that’s right, get enough of the omega-3 fatty acids variety to help with memory.
- Sleep — less than 7 to 9 hours is a drain on your brain. How much sleep do you get? Set the alarm to go to bed, if necessary.
- Exercise — exercise increases blood flow to the hippocampus, associated with memory function.
“As we age, our brain has a harder time dealing with distractions. Brains get stronger by eliminating distractions rather than pushing to overcome them.” Dr. Sandra Chapman, Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas at Dallas
Oh, I hired a mind trainer
Rita and I now have a fitness trainer. (Shout out to Katrina at Sky Fitness & Wellbeing) So, why not engage a brain trainer? Recently, I upgraded my Lumosity app to premium. The goal is three workouts per week. The app sends a reminder, too.
Lumosity is an economical, pro-active method that supports core cognitive abilities. The Lumosity “games” train for Speed, Memory, Attention, Flexibility, and Problem Solving using your mobile device or computer. You receive immediate feedback. It tracks your performance, how much and how well you train, and compares you with other users in your age group.
Create Space for reflection
Take the five mind-building steps for a few days, and you’ll feel the burn of great thinking. Those synapses are getting stronger. Functionality is returning to flabby, dormant cortexes. Commit to this Mind-Building plan long-term and pretty soon, Schwarzenegger, or Stephen Hawking, will start getting jealous…
You have a lot of distractions which drain your brain. How will you support improved memory, thinking, reasoning, and decision making?
- Which of the five steps do you neglect most often in your life?
- How will you support your brain?
Here’s to your powerful Mind-Building regimen,