Here’s news that smarts: Our brains can start to power down in our early 40s. That is, the complex mental processes we rely on to be our sharpest selves professionally could dull over time.
Blame these acuity-robbing culprits: being overly focused on remembering every detail, quickly switching back and forth from one task to the next, and feeling an overpowering need to instantly respond to every email or text. Memory, thinking speed, reasoning and decision-making can wane.
Officials from the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas at Dallas offer these ways to reverse workplace brain drain:
1. Rest your brain and then reboot.
Quieting your mind a few times each day for just five minutes can help improve your decision-making, problem-solving and productivity. So disengage briefly to free your mind for its next aha moment.
2. Focus on one task at a time.
Give your full attention to one task before starting the next. Interruptions and multitasking can impede your productivity and accuracy as well as dragging out the time needed to complete all of your tasks.
Identify the two most crucial tasks on your to-do list and complete them before moving on to less significant items. This tactic will boost your productivity, quality of work and efficiency.
4. Say no to the status quo.
Instead of doing things the same way at work, mix it up and try a new approach. Everyone has the potential to break new ground and be more inventive at any age. The payoff is a healthier brain—and more creative solutions.