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How to Train Your Brain

To Better Accomplish Your 2024 New Y'ears Resolutions. Learning coach Jim Kwik shares his top three brain optimization tips for founders.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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Jim Kwik has spent more than 30 years optimizing his brain--and teaching executives at companies like Nike and Google to do the same. At the start of a new year, his brain-tuning tips can help you tick off all your resolutions. "Our brain is our number-one wealth-building asset," says Kwik. Here's how to keep it sharp. --As told to Jennifer Conrad

Make a Mental To-Do List in the A.M.

"Don't touch your phone for the first 30 minutes of the day, if you can help it. When you pick up your phone first thing in the morning, you're wiring your brain for distraction. You're in a relaxed, very suggestible state when you wake up. During that time, I do a one-minute visualization exercise. I imagine myself at the end of the day, saying, 'It was such a wonderful day. I crushed it.' Then I imagine what has to happen for me to feel that way: I think of three personal things and three professional things that, if accomplished, would make my day a win.

Break for Lunch

When you eat lunch without working at the same time, you go into something called a parasympathetic state. The other part of your nervous system, the sympathetic, is the part that stimulates the body's fight-or-flight response. That's not the ideal state to recover in. The parasympathetic part of your nervous system is what they call the rest-and- digest state. It's a better state to replenish yourself.

Read Fiction Before Bed

I relegate nonfiction to the morning or afternoon, because I don't want to get into my executive brain at night. Non­fiction is a wonderful way to learn through information. Fiction is a wonderful way to learn through imagination, so I'll read some light fiction before going to bed. When you read fiction, it improves your emotional quotient. It helps you develop greater empathy. It allows you to jump from different perceptual positions and solve problems through narrative."

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