I love the new year. It’s an opportunity to do things differently, develop new habits and uncover personal potential. Starting tomorrow, just about everyone will be back to work or school. What will you change in 2016?
The brain is a wondrous entity, capable of complex problem solving, planning, adaptability, memory recall, and self-regulation. It accounts for 2 percent of our body weight but it uses 20 percent of our available energy. When the brain is low on energy, it doesn’t operate optimally. Likewise, think of each brain activity as a window on a computer. The more windows you have open, the more the system’s bandwidth is taxed and the more it’s functioning is potentially compromised. How will you know what needs to change and what hot tip you can use to make these changes?
The Brain Energy/Bandwidth Inventory, based on neuroscience research was designed by my colleague Jane Kise and I to assist people in appraising their own brain energy and bandwidth demands. This 18 question quiz will get you started thinking about your own brain energy and bandwidth. For each question, you will respond FREQUENTLY, SOMETIMES, or RARELY. At the end, your responses will place you in one of 3 general categories.If you want a specific score that you can compare with others or track over time, score yourself a 4 for FREQUENTLY, a 2 for SOMETIMES, and a 0 for RARELY. Simply add the numbers at the end of the quiz.
It’s an interesting exercise to take inventory of your habits of mind, the distractions you encounter, and the way you fuel your brain. I remember in the old days, it was forbidden to disturb someone who had his or her door closed because important work required focus. Yet we do this to ourselves on a day to day basis with emails, cell phones, and little or no strategies to work without interruption. When we gave this quiz to a group of emerging leaders this past autumn, the results were the talk of the office the following week! It’s an eye opener!
Finally, if you want explore this a little further, a more complete report plus tips on how to maximize your brain potential is available. These suggestions come from my 25 years of experience in brain science and the experiences of my colleague Jane, a thought leader in education.