Ulysse Wurtz, chairman of PowerBrain Rx
In a past-paced city like Hong Kong, we can often get overwhelmed with the amount of tasks we must complete both at home and at work, not to mention the constant interruption of technology which can lead to information overload. To help you get your mind in order, we pick the brains of Ulysse Wurtz, chairman of PowerBrain Rx, Hong Kong's one and only cognitive brain skills training centre.
Manage your brain — it's your most important asset! Young or older, life in Hong Kong can be hectic and surely under constant pressure. Whatever your environment and challenges, being in charge starts with managing your own brain. Here are six research-based tips to help you to achieve that.
6 Tips to Turbocharge Your Brain
- Start single tasking. For those who proudly identify as multitaskers, understand that your brain is not built to perform two tasks at the same time — instead, it must switch quickly from task to unrelated task. Multitasking tires the brain and activates stress hormones. Giving your full attention to the project at hand will increase accuracy, innovation, and speed.
- Limit information. Thanks to our technology-driven and uber-connected world, the sheer volume of information we are exposed to every day is nearly 200 times more than we were exposed to 20 years ago! Research shows that this information overload comes at a price. High-performing minds are more efficient at knowing what to block out and what to keenly pay attention to. Limit what you take in to enhance your brain's natural ability to block out what does not matter.
- Detox distractions. On average, individuals work for three minutes at a time before being interrupted. Complicating matters, technology is actually rewiring our brains to be addicted to interruption, as we anxiously wait for the next ping signalling a new email, text, or social media post. By silencing your phone and computer, and closing your office door, you can actually accelerate your brain's ability to complete tasks.
- Think big. Designed to shift between details and the big picture, the brain is overwhelmed by too much focus on details. Taking the time to think about a problem or idea from the 10,000-foot view will shift your perspective — and it strengthens brain systems to generate high-level ideas and transformative solutions. Research has shown that doing so strengthens brain systems at multiple levels of health.
- Calibrate mental effort. Mental energy, like physical energy, can be depleted. Prioritise your day by focusing effort on the most important tasks while your brain is at peak operating power, usually at the start of the day.
- Innovate and Motivate. Innovate: stepping outside your routine is important to brain health and performance. Our brains seek novelty and innovation, so challenge yourself to expand your knowledge and learn new skills. Motivate: while it is important to learn new skills, the brain is happiest when exploring areas you are passionate about. Focusing on what motivates and matters to you actually increases your rate of learning.
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