Do we actually make the most of our day according to how our brains work? This essential piece of information alone could save you loads of time and frustration…
1. Left and Right Brain: Truth or Myth?
Many of us have grown up with the notion of the left versus the right brain, and what that means for your preferences or personality. Recap: those who are more logical and organised are said to be more left-brain orientated, while those who are more free-thinking and creative are said to be right-brain dominant. When it comes to productivity, people who support this distinction advise different ways of approaching your studies or work. Left-hand dominated people are advised to work alone and be aware of their need for structure, whereas right-hand dominant people are told to try and be more organised and to focus on finishing a task.
While we might all subscribe to this dichotomy to some degree, can we as complex humans be so easily divided into one of these two categories? Recent research suggests that this way of looking at how our brains work is limited, and that although there are focused centres for processing different kinds of information in certain parts of the brain, overall, activity takes place across the two hemispheres. Neuroscientists believe that maths skills are thought to be more logical and left-brain orientated, being good at maths actually requires processes that take place in both left and right hand regions of the brain.
2. Making the Divide Work: Brain Gym
Take control and mesh the two sides together for optimum functioning. One method to improve overall co-ordination and cognitive abilities is Brain Gym, which consists of 26 exercises that have been developed to synchronise brain and motor functioning. One example of these exercises is “cross crawl”, where you lift one knee and touch it with the opposite hand, do the reverse and then repeat for several repetitions.
By doing these kinds of exercises, you engage different parts of your brain, and can therefore approach work more effectively. Other applications, such as Lumosity, also advocate working your mind in different ways. Using various cognitive exercises in a very user-friendly application on your phone or tablet, Lumosity develops different cognitive skills such as memory and pattern matching, thereby engaging various processing centres of the brain and allowing you to track your progress and focus on the skills you would most like to improve.