Early mornings don’t have to be stressful, if you use them wisely and efficiently.
The morning is the perfect time to enhance your brain power, hone your mind and focus on the tasks ahead. Here at Business Grapevine, we have collated four simple hacks that will help you master the rest of your day.
Technically this should involve two people, but if you’re starting your day solo then you could always challenge your computer to a match.
Chess has long been linked to increased intelligence, preventing Alzheimer’s disease and improving memory. Samir Becic, Founder of Health Fitness Revolution, gave his own reasons as to why more business leaders should consider taking up the game on his online blog.
“Games like chess that challenge the brain actually stimulate the growth of dendrites, the bodies that send out signals from the brain’s neuron cells,” he wrote. “With more dendrites, neural communication within the brain improves and becomes faster. Think of your brain like a computer processor.
“The tree-like branches of dendrites fire signals that communicate to other neurons, which makes that computer processor operate at a fast, optimal state. Interaction with people in challenging activities also fuels dendrite growth, and chess is a perfect example.”
It seems like everyone you speak to today has a story about the myriad of benefits of a yoga-centric lifestyle. And whilst no one is suggesting that you don lycra and sweatbands for more than is wholly necessary, the advantages of adopting the practices before you head into work are numerous.
A recent report published by The Lancet – titled ‘Does physical activity attenuate, or even eliminate, the detrimental association of sitting time with mortality? A harmonised meta-analysis of data from more than one million men and women’ – found that office workers are putting themselves at risk of developing chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease and cancer because of their sedentary working lifestyles.
Paul Harris, Co-Founder and CMO at BrightHR, commented on the perils of a sedentary work life: “At BrightHR, we trust and empower our staff to know when they need to take a break.”
“We encourage them to step away from their desks as we know how important this is for their health and mental wellbeing.
“We also encourage fun in the office. Not only does it break our employees away from the shackles of their desk, [but] the culture of play is key to attracting and retaining the best talent we can.
All that chess and exercise is bound to have worked up an appetite – but keep away from those croissants! A healthy and nutritious breakfast is an ideal way to kick-start those neurons, and whilst you should always try to eat something before work there are certain foods that are proven to boost brain power.
Jennifer Cohen, a fitness trainer who helps executives improve their wellbeing, outlined in a Forbes article what a sterling CEO should be eating for breakfast.
“Paying more attention to the foods you are eating instead of just being consumed with cutting calories or eating less can help clear the body of toxins that are affecting your brain negatively and clear the mind of its brain fog.
“Focus on filling your gut with nutrient-dense, whole foods to help your brain thrive.”
Cohen recommends bee pollen, sunflower seeds and spinach – may be better to consume in some sort of omelette rather than as individual snacks…
After all that relaxation and a superfood-rich breakfast platter, no doubt you’ll be feeling perky and productive. So why not take advantage of this by riding the momentum and checking into work early? This doesn’t have to mean running into the office at 4am – just checking emails that may have come in the night before, perusing LinkedIn or even listening to a few voicemails.
It will set you up for what’s ahead, and you’ll already feel like you’ve got the best of the morning.