Seven Easy Ways to Boost Your Brainpower

Sean McCool here. I’m excited to be with you this week at the helm of The Writer’s Life.

As you may have already found out, pursuing the writer’s life can be mentally challenging at times. So today I want to share seven easy things you can do starting today to enhance your brainpower to make that pursuit a little easier.

Chances are, you’ve heard at least a few of these ideas before. But don’t dismiss them. Fact is, writing is hard work. Spending three to four hours per day writing and researching is exhausting. Adding these seven brain boosters to your daily routine can keep your mind sharp and prevent burnout.

Good news is … it doesn’t have to take very long either. You don’t have to do all seven every day either. Several replace downtime and others can be combined. Below, I list a range of time you could expect to spend on each activity.

Regardless of the time, adding these to your routine will make you a better, more productive writer.

1. Engage Yourself in Regular Exercise … 7-10 minutes

Do simple exercises like Dr. Oz’s seven-minute yoga routine. Or try five 40-yard sprints followed by some deep stretching. Either way, you’ll need less than 10 minutes.

Exercise triggers the release of neurochemicals known as endorphins, which produce a feeling of well-being. And this puts you in a better state of mind to write.

2. Supplement Your Diet … less than 1 minute

Natural supplements not only keep your body healthier, they also maintain the fitness of your brain. This results in better brainpower! You can start with a good multivitamin and then add in brain-boosting nutrients like Ginkgo biloba, and anything high in omega-3 is a great place to start. For more, just Google brain-boosting supplements.

This is an easy addition to your daily routine that takes less than a minute. It can go a long way to increased energy and clearer thinking.

3. Use Your Brain … up to an hour

If you exercise your body, you should exercise your brain as well. Don’t just sit in front of the TV in your free time. Get out and have stimulating conversations. Take a night or online class in a subject you find interesting. Take up a hobby that uses a different part of the brain than writing, like woodworking, painting, or learning to play an instrument.

Better yet, combine your body and mind exercise with sports like tennis, basketball, or martial arts.

4. Play Games … replace waiting time, TV time, or lingering on social media

Ever sit around waiting … for a kid to get out of school … in a waiting room … for your husband/wife/kids as they get ready to go out? Have you killed time watching TV or surfing mindlessly on Facebook?

Try to use some of that wasted time for mentally stimulating games. You can find brainteaser apps for your smartphone. Or try a good old-fashioned puzzle. Play the right games and you can increase your brain power.

5. Enjoy an Educational Hobby … an hour here and there

Choose a hobby that forces you to always be learning and improving your skills. Avoid monotonous activities. Photography is a good example of a brain-stimulating hobby as there are always new tricks and techniques to figure out. (As an added bonus, you could even supplement your income once you know a few photography tricks found here.

6. Sleep Well … 6-8 hours

Sleeping is the time when your body rebuilds and recharges itself. Most professionals believe that you should sleep for at least six to eight hours a night. You should also try to take 10-minute power naps during the day. I take my power nap at about 2:30. Do not deprive yourself of sleep. Your brain will function better.

7. Relax … 12-60 minutes

Because of the stress of everyday life, your brain is exhausted just as much as your body. You must take the time to unplug and relax. The phrase “Be still and know …” comes to mind. You may want to try meditating to give your mind a break from all the hassle. Meditation is simply sitting or standing very still and very quiet. Try to put all your worries out of your mind and relax. It will be tough at first. But you’ll get better with practice.

Over the next week, try to incorporate each of these 7 ideas at least once.Then share your experiences with me by posting a comment below. Eventually, you’ll have boosted your brain power to new heights. You’ll find yourself more productive, happier, and inspired.

And, before you know it, you’ll be that much closer to achieving the writer’s life.

Also be sure to check out my most recent article, What the Writer's Life Really Means to Me. In it, I talk about the one word that sums up how the writer’s life has changed my life. And I’d like to know what it’s done (or will do) for you too.

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Published: July 11, 2011

2 Responses to “Seven Easy Ways to Boost Your Brainpower”

  1. I find learning a new language (at the moment it's Polish), doing crosswords, and doing sudoku are my favourite ways to keep my brain active.

    Guest (Mary)July 11, 2011 at 5:47 pm

  2. Sean, you're advice is spot on.

    I regularly do #'s 1 (sprints), 2 (mangosteen juice), 4 (board games with kids & wife), 6 (7-8 hrs sleep), & 7 (15-minute meditation. I have this nice harmonica I need to dust off that'll fulfill #3.

    I agree these activities have helped me fine-tune my mental game. I think many will find these extremely useful. Thanks for sharing!

    Jerry BuresJuly 12, 2011 at 8:38 pm

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