Train Your Brain to Advance Your Career
When was the last time you learned something new?
If you’re like most of us, your answer probably sounded something like, “When I learned how to use pivot tables” or, “When I learned how to use my company’s contact centre software.”
Perhaps you’ve learned something that’s not directly work related, such as how to play tennis or speak French. Or maybe you can’t remember the last time you consciously acquired new knowledge or mastered a new skill.
Regardless of your answer, the truth is that in today’s professional world, it’s critical to keep developing your knowledge, skills, and mental acuity. There are a number of reasons for this.
First of all, when you’re consciously developing your abilities, it keeps you motivated at work because you feel empowered. This changes how you respond to challenges and makes it easier for you to tackle them and find solutions. Second, when your supervisor sees that you’re improving your skills and enhancing your knowledge, he or she is more likely to consider you for interesting opportunities—and promotion. Third, continuous learning is an essential element of maintaining mental flexibility, as well as the ability to come up with new solutions for increasingly difficult challenges. This is vitally important in an era where rapid technological advances are quick to render skills obsolete, as well as drive rapid change in our work and living environments.
If you want to advance your career, you need to be able to quickly absorb new information, as well as become or remain mentally flexible. One of the best ways to do this is by training your brain. Start by letting go of limiting beliefs—both about your own potential and about what’s possible in general.
Thinking, “I can’t do that!” or “There’s no way that’s possible!” leads to a mental block, which hinders development. You can address these limiting beliefs by asking yourself why you think you can’t do something or why something’s not possible and then detailing what abilities or knowledge are needed to turn that limiting belief around.
Remember: a hundred years ago, nobody thought we would walk on the moon—but with the right knowledge and technology, less than 50 years later, Neil Armstrong took that first step.
Once you’ve addressed your limiting beliefs, the next thing you need to do is set time aside to train your brain. As Gwen Moran points out in her FastCompany article “Surprisingly Simple Ways You Can Trick Your Brain Into Focusing,” multi-tasking reduces your ability to focus, so you should eliminate all distractions such as email or direct messaging alerts. Now you’ve established a more receptive state of mind— and this is perfect for training your brain.
Next, choose your brain training app. There are a number of extremely effective apps you can use to stimulate learning, enhance focus and increase flexible thinking. Here are our top three favourites:
Mind Games: This is an iOS app that includes games to increase attention, improve processing skills, enhance attention to detail, amp up response time and more. It also provides feedback on your progress and pinpoints which areas you need to develop in order to excel.
Fit Brains Trainer: Available for both Android and iOS, this app features over 35 games that allow you develop your language, memory, concentration, logic or other skills. It also provides a number of games that increase your emotional intelligence—something that’s very important if you aspire to a leadership position.
Peak: Also available for both Android and iOS, Peak provides more than 30 games that are grouped together for personalized daily brain workouts based on the skills you want to develop such as memory, mental agility, focus and language skills.
In addition to career advancement, training your brain can benefit your personal health; it can help delay the onset of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Best of all: these games are both fun and health-oriented.
So, keep playing and stay sharp!