Neuroscience is at the forefront of innovation in leadership. Dr Tara Swart, the only leadership coach with a PhD in neuroscience and a successful career as medical doctor, offers her top tips for doing more with less, for longer, without burning out!
1. Simplicity: We have a limited bucket of cognitive resources, so reducing choices can play an important role in how we decide to spend our cognitive resources. Don’t waste big brain power on small unimportant decisions.
2. Hydration and oxygenation: We need to drink half a litre of water daily for every 15kg of our body mass – so get drinking! Getting oxygen into our bodies and brains also boosts our ability to think, so take 10 deep breathes before an important meeting – or get exercising.
3. Nutrition: With our brain using 20-30% of what we eat, be sure to give it the food it needs. Brain-friendly foods include: salmon, avocado, eggs, nuts, olives, dried fruit, and vegetables. As Dr Swart says “I choose what I eat so that I make better decisions”.
4. Sleep: We all need 7-9 hours a night… at least! The research is staggering around the neural deficits experienced when we sleep for less than this.
5. Mindfulness: 12 minutes of mindfulness a day is all it takes to improve your resilience and cortisol levels. In a world of overload, are you strong enough to put your smart phone down and DO NOTHING, if it means you’ll live a longer and healthier life?