I like to treat my brain like a muscle, which means it needs exercise and sufficient rest, otherwise the muscle plateaus. I do this by reading daily from a variety of sources on a variety of topics. I make an effort to learn about different industries and businesses as there are great lessons to be had. I also force myself to try new things often, and when I fail, to make sure I learn from those failures.
—Zubin Irani, CEO of cPrime
I live in the moment. When I’m writing an email, I really focus on that email. In a team meeting, I listen to every word folks say and pay attention to the conversation. Every moment of my day is precious; I have to compartmentalize and concentrate on the task at hand. If I get distracted, then my time is less productive and wasteful.
—Gina Alshuler, president and CEO of Rauxa
I stay sharp by going to the gym and getting enough sleep. The basics, such as moving my body and letting it recharge, are critical for me. As someone who wants to do everything myself, knowing how much work I can realistically handle is another way to stay sharp and not overload myself. You have to be up front on your hang-ups so that others can help you move forward. If not, you may begin to bottleneck your team and hinder progress.
—Cooper Harris, founder and CEO of Klickly
There are so many demands on my time, energy and attention that I find it a high priority to take exquisite care of myself. To maintain mental clarity and acuity, I meditate for at least 20 minutes every day. There are a million things I know I could be doing, but meditation helps to sharpen my mind and improve efficiency. Complemented with exercise and healthy eating habits, I find that I can stay effective even with the high stress and demands that I experience on a daily basis.
—Marcela De Vivo, chief marketing officer, Brilliance
Exercise, in various forms, is the most reliable mechanism for increasing and maintaining mental acuity. Long walks or runs help relieve stress and increase attention span from day to day. Similarly, mental math drills (my favorite tool is zetamac.com) and Sudoku puzzles serve dual purposes of providing entertainment and intellectual challenges.
—Blake Marggraff, CEO, Epharmix Inc.
Related: 9 Easy Ways to Stay Mentally Sharp
This article originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.