By Stephen White
Project managers understand that what gets measured, gets managed. Exciting new discoveries in the field of cognitive neuroscience reveal that it is possible to both measure and manage the brain’s health and performance.
First, a word about measurement. Studies using a comprehensive measure of the brain’s upward potential, the BrainHealth Index, demonstrate that people of all ages can strengthen their own brain health and performance over time when they practice brain-healthy strategies.
Now let’s focus on management. The brain has a life-long ability to strengthen its health and performance. Even more encouraging is the fact that we are uncovering simple, effective ways to leverage that ability, called neuroplasticity.
This matters because about 50% of our daily habits are toxic to our brain’s health. Things like uncontrolled stress, multitasking and working longer, not smarter, are all contributors. They reduce the productivity of teams, sabotage company culture, and cause us to be less than our best individually.
The good news is that you can replace these learned habits with new ones that can build up your brain health and performance.
It comes down to simple, science-based strategies. Here is a Daily BrainHealth Equation to help you get started: 2 + 5 + 7
2: Find your prime time: Don’t waste precious mental energy on small to-do list items. Use your brain’s daily “prime time”—when you feel the most mentally sharp—to knock out 2 major tasks that require deeper thinking and can be accomplished in 45 minutes.
5: Take brain breaks: Give your brain a chance to rest between tasks. Taking five 5-minute breaks daily allows your brain to recharge – imagine having the same level of brain power at the end of your workday as you have at the outset.
7: Expand innovation: Challenge yourself to consider new angles; explore a different perspective, even if it doesn’t ultimately change your opinion. Try this 7 times each day to expand possibility thinking.
Find out more at centerforbrainhealth.org.
Chief Operating Officer
Center for BrainHealth, The University of Texas at Dallas
With more than 15 years of experience as an executive in commercial healthcare products and service, combined with experience as a commercial attorney and CPA, Stephen joined the Center for BrainHealth to lead its commercial operations and help bring science-based innovations, technologies and strategies to the public.
Previously, he served as Vice President of Global Sharing Solutions for Leica Biosystems, a Danaher Life Sciences company, and helped commercialize innovative digital pathology solutions to improve patient access to subspecialty expertise. Steve was also head of Corporate Development and General Counsel for Aperio Technologies before it was acquired by Danaher in 2012.
Before moving to the corporate world, Steve had almost 20 years of experience in private legal practice in Arizona, partly as Senior Counsel at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, before opening his own practice focused on healthcare and specialty finance. Prior to that, Steve practiced as a CPA and business consultant for the audit team at Coopers & Lybrand.
Disclaimer: The ideas, views, and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Institute for Learning or any entities they represent.