There are many things that we can do to improve our cognitive performance that we may have never thought about before. Here are some of the favorite unique methods to improve mental performance that get you outside of the office and doing things a bit more meaningful.
As you’ll find, sometimes the things we do outside of the office can make a big difference.
#1. Walking - There is a lot of evidence that walking can be a great way of improving mental performance. Studies at Stanford University found that simply walking for up to 5 - 10 minutes can drastically increase creativity (up to 48%). Our ancestors have known this for a long time. This is why many (such as Aristotle and Socrates) would take meetings as they walked.
#2. Working with your hands - No matter whether you are a male or female, working with your hands can be a rewarding task. Given there are so many office and knowledge workers these days, a real craftsman project can make a really big difference. Even something simple like making furniture with saws can make a big difference in your well-being.
#3. Meals with friends - Many years ago, researchers and anthropologists studying different regions of Earth created a term known as “Blue Zones”. In this groundbreaking research, the authors showed that many regions of the planet had people who lived longer than others. The island of Sardinia, for example, had more 100 year old men (centennials) than any other region in the world.
While it might seem like diet and exercise play the biggest role (they do), other findings were more surprising. The simple act of eating meals with friends had a huge impact on their cognitive capacity and longevity. There is something about enjoying the time with friends that makes a big difference.
#4. Sleep - this last option is a bit of a cop-out, but sleep is a vital cognitive enhancer outside of the office. So many times people suggest they’ll “sleep when dead”, but this has dire consequences for many people. The fact is, the more that you can sleep while you are young and healthy, the better off you are going to be. There is a direct link between sleep and health, which we should all keep in mind.