Here are 7 habits I’ve practiced over the past several years.
My favorite? #2. It sharpens your focus in seconds!
Daily habit #1. Feed your brain with a nutritious breakfast.
When you feed your brain right, you can optimize your cognitive performance, boost memory, and increase concentration in everything you do during the day. Try a simple oatmeal breakfast. Mix one cup with 1 tablespoon flaxseeds (an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid which is a healthy fat that boosts cerebral cortex function), 1 teaspoon peanut butter, a sliced banana or other fresh fruit such as berries, papaya, and mango. Sprinkle some walnuts or almonds on top for more brain-boosting benefits.
Daily habit #2. Improve your focus each morning with one question: What is the ONE thing I am committed to learning today?
This habit keeps things simple, helps your brain focus better, makes you prioritize your goals, and streamlines your work so you don’t feel overwhelmed by a thousand things you “have” to do. Write it in big bold letters on a sheet of paper and hang it on your bedroom or bathroom wall. Read it out loud and come up with an answer on the spot as you’re brushing your teeth or getting dressed. Then, keep it top of mind as you go about your day, as a reminder of what you’ve committed to do.
Daily habit #3. Do “deep work” early.
Deep work can be any kind of analytical thinking that requires the most concentration such as reading, writing, analyzing or problem solving. It requires a different kind of focus from other more tactical things we do on a regular basis, from washing dishes to setting our alarm clock in the evening before going to sleep. Dedicate the first 2-4 hours after you wake up to maximize your brain’stime. If for example you wake up at 7, your peak times are between 9 and 11 a.m.
Daily habit #4. Do a short 20–30 minute cardio workout.
Being physically active improves both your physical and mental well-being, plus you get the boost of endorphins (happy hormones) when you break a sweat. But instead of aiming too high (“I have to spend two hours at the gym!”), start with a super simple workout session, either in the morning before you start your daily commute or when you’re done with work or school. Pick a shorter activity that requires your body to move, such as a, a set of lunges and squats, a power walk, bike ride, or quick run through the neighborhood. Looking for a challenge? Try building this !
Daily habit #5. Calm your busy thoughts with meditation.
If you find yourself often feeling overwhelmed and stressed, you can quiet your mind from all those busy thoughts with a simple 10-minute meditation practice. Download theapp, which makes it super simple for beginners. Practice 10 minutes consistently for 10 days. Experiment to find out which time works better for you, mornings after you wake up or right before going to sleep. After that you can opt to increase the time to 15 and later 20 minutes, or you can keep it to 10 if that amount of time works for you.
Daily habit #6. Create your fiction book-reading ritual.
If you haven’t given reading fiction a try, here are some benefits for you to consider. Did you know that reading fiction improves brain function and boosts connectivity in the brain? It’s not my personal opinion — science backs it up. Neuroscientists from Emory University published a study calledexplaining the benefits in detail. To make reading a daily practice, get a library membership, download the to help you find topics and writers, and read up on Quora’s to get started on your reading journey.
Daily habit #7. Practice a growth mindset.
If you think that a mindset is something you’re just born with, think again. Unlike having a fixed mindset (where you believe you’re born with a set of skills and abilities that are in your “nature”), cultivating a growth mindset means you push yourself outside your comfort zone, challenge beliefs on what you can and cannot (or “should not”) do, and re-program your mind so you can develop your core qualities and skills through continuous efforts. Read Carol Dweck’s bookto go in depth with how this important concept can change the way you see the world and your role in it.