Fuel Your Brain To Stay Sharp In Your Career

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The workplace of today is constantly evolving and challenging us.

We asked High Performance coach Pat Divilly for his tips to #staysharp in our careers.

We spend a third of our lives in the workplace so it’s important that we develop and maintain energy, inspiration and purpose around the work we do in life.

Here are five simple tips to fuel your brain and body to help you stay sharp.

1. Stay in the “magic” stretch zone - I frequently talk about three zones where we spend time, the comfort zone, panic zone and stretch zone. When we fall into routines or ruts, we find ourselves in the comfort zone, doing the same things daily whilst hoping for a different result. Other times we take on a huge amount of change all at once and end up overwhelmed and in a panic zone. This is a stressful place to be and is unsustainable. The “magic” zone is the stretch zone, where we are looking to grow and develop but in a sustainable way that is enjoyable and fulfilling. Sometimes when we take on a new role, we are put into the stretch zone having to learn new systems, ideas and procedures. After a time we fall back into the comfort zone and boredom is often close behind. Look to stay in your stretch zone by undertaking courses, trying a new sport or hobby, or joining a new group. And try to constantly add sustainable challenge to your days.

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 2. Identify and remember your ‘why’ - Purpose and meaning in life is so important but sometimes we forget ‘why’ we’re doing what we’re doing. A friend told me a story of a factory where he used to work. No one liked the factory but one guy would show up every day with a smile on his face. It wasn’t that he loved the work, but that he knew the purpose it served for him. He had a dream of moving to Africa and working on a safari, and every day at the factory was allowing him to put money aside to pursue his dream. Why do you do what you do? Is it to support your family, to make a difference, or to put money toward a future dream or ambition? Take some time to explore your ‘why’ and you’ll quickly increase the meaning and purpose you see in your life.

3. ‘Upgrade’ your time - We’re lucky to live in a world where we have an abundance of information in any niche area available to us. Consider the time you spend commuting or just simply scrolling. Could you use this time more productively to enhance your knowledge and challenge your brain? If you have a one hour commute daily, look at what that adds up to over the course of a year. People commute an average 260 hours a year. Dedicate some of your commute time to upgrading your mindset or skill set by listening to podcasts or read articles that aid your personal development or that inform and inspire you. The compound effect of small changes daily is completely transformative over time.

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4. Fuel your body and brain to stay sharp - When we are training for a sports event we look at fueling our bodies for optimum performance, why not do the same for our brains? Our brains are 5% of our body weight but require 20% of the calories we consume. Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) such as Omega 3, 6 & 9 are crucial for brain development and performance. We need to ensure we are getting enough in our diets as our bodies do not make EFA’s. Great sources are in oily fish, nuts and seeds or in an oil blend such as Udo’s Choice Oil which I blend with my morning smoothie (I take the capsules with me when travelling). Make sure you are getting EFA’s each day to fuel your brain and body to embrace the changes and challenges of your life and career.

5. Enjoy the Journey - I am a big believer that success in life relates to one having a desired outcome in life and moving in the direction of that outcome. I have frequently observed people seeing ‘success’ as reaching journey’s end without fully recognizing the leaps they have taken to get there. Take note of your daily achievements however small, as all progress is good and deserves recognition.

Take part in the ‘Upgrade Your Mindset’ Udo’s Choice Challenge, a simple two week program designed to help you form new empowering habits that support the body, brain and mind. Pick up an ‘Upgrade Your Mindset’ Udo’s Choice Challenge booklet in Health Stores and Pharmacies, or visit udoschoice.ie to find out more.

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