Brain Retraining

We all know the feeling: We wake up feeling overwhelmed with all the things we have to do. But it doesn’t have to be that way! With some changes in the way we plan our time and our to-do lists, we can venture into our day and our writing sessions with “renewed mental vigor,” according to the Center for Brain Research.* To wrap up our “brainpower” series, here are some of the Center’s tips to help you power through your day with mental vigor and creativity:

“The night before, identify one or two of the most pivotal tasks/responsibilities you face the next day… that require deep thinking to achieve and advance your longer-term goals.”

“Sleep on these priorities without effort. By priming the ‘brain pump’ the night before, you are likely to have unanticipated, new, and productive ideas. Our brain is always working for us, especially during sleep when our rhythms slow down. Your brain consolidates your previous ideas into flashes of new insights that can jump-start your big goals for the day.”

“In the morning when you’re getting ready, purposefully keep your environment quiet except for meaningful conversations with those around you. Do not turn on radios or the TV. Try driving to work without making calls or listening to music. Your brain will be primed to tackle your big, weighty responsibilities (or ‘elephants’) immediately.”

“Carve out prime brain time and stick to these one or two top priorities until you make progress. Take on substantial tasks one at a time without allowing interruptions. Turn off email alerts, silence your phone… Start with 15-minute intervals and work your way up from there. You will achieve more in 20 to 30 minutes uninterrupted time than you will in over two hours when constantly interrupted.”

“Give yourself a brief brain break regularly. When working on mentally challenging activities for more than 25 minutes at a time, take a five-minute break. Your brain quickly resets and recovers from fatigue when you step back. As an added bonus, new visions are likely to arise….”

“Re-energize your day at lunch with innovative conversation or quiet time away from the mental grind…. Once your ‘elephants’ are well fed for the time being, you should recognize renewed freedom and mental energy. You will be able to check off the easier, less demanding items on your to-do list in record time.”

“Near the end of the day, strategically view your day’s achievement, embrace the progress you have made and synthesize two or three big ideas that you want to motivate and fuel for the next day’s activities.”

What powerful, practical pointers for making our work time more fruitful — write on!

*Once again, all quoted material is from the fabulous Center for Brain Health:


About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply