My brain workout
Here is what I do to for what I call the Brainarobics, my brain exercise:
- Boardgames: I regularly try to catch a few games of Chess, Go, Settlers of Catan etc. every week. I also have this Android app called Tsumego, which gives me 6 (2 easy, 2 medium and 2 hard) problems of Go (Weiqi) everyday. Initially, I ended up spending a lot of time trying to figure the solutions. But after weeks of doing it, I am able to crack them during the break times.
- Lumosity: This app is brilliant. It helps me train 5 different segments of my brain: Speed, Memory, Attention, Logic/Problem Solving and Flexibility. I do this first thing in the morning. 10 minutes to wake up the brain and have an extremely focused day. If you don’t fancy Lumosity, there are many similar apps.
- Magazines: I read plenty of magazines. It not only gives me perspectives, but with large consumption of data, my mind expands. Apart from the magazines that interest me, I also read a bunch of ones that provide brain food:
a) Mental Floss
c) BBC Knowledge
d) Games World of Puzzles
e) How It Works Book of __________ (Space, Earth, Elements etc.)
f) How It Works Brain Dump
g) World of Knowledge
h) my interests (Make magazine, Fitness, DIY, MagPi, Outside, Outdoors, Runners World etc.)
- Brain Workout books:
a) Brain Training Boost memory, maximize mental agility, & awaken your inner genius
b) Train Your Brain A Year’s Worth of Puzzles
c) The Idea Book
d) Keep Your Brain Alive 83 Neurobic Exercises to Help Prevent Memory Loss and Increase Mental Fitness
- Sensory mix: Things like using my left hand to play a sport (I am right handed, but I play underwater hockey with my left hand). Bathing with my eyes closed. Week of silence (where I don’t speak a word). Off Consumption week. The ‘Yes man’ week. Watching a video with half the screen blocked and trying to imagine it up. Or playing a movie and just listening to it, without watching it and trying to imagine the scenes in my head. Using one hand to button up a shirt. Observe a couple from a distance and make up a funny conversation based on their gestures. These are just some examples. And they are not done routinely. Be creative, surprise your brain and see how well you can adapt to the new challenge.
- Learning new things: I make sure I learn one new thing every month. I manage to squeeze out 20 hours from my hectic schedule and try to get good at something I have never tried before. It could be learning magic from youtube videos, playing Jianzi, learning a new sport, picking up a skill etc.
- Coursera: I spend a lot of my free time doing random courses on Coursera. It is free and it is great. I am an Engineer, pursuing my MBA. but currently I am doing a course on Medical Neuroscience in coursera. I have always been a guy who knows a little bit on a vast amount of subjects. I am no expert, but I can have a good enough conversation on many topics.
- Conversations: I talk a lot. I discuss a lot. Every place I go to (Chennai, Bangalore, Shanghai, Singapore etc.) I find a cafe and a pub to hang out. And discuss stuff. Talk subjunctive things. Hypothesize stuff. Every time I have a conversation, I want to leave with something to think about. And I also make sure that the person talking to me, leaves with something to think about.
- Headspace: I am not patient enough to sit at a place for hours and meditate. Headspace app works for me. I like their guided meditation. 7–10 minutes and I can get all that I learned, thought of, figured out… into perspective. Make sense of the chaos.
- Online Time pass: I prefer Quora over Digg. I read up on random questions and I try to answer questions to get into a discussion and learn more. I prefer Wikipedia over news websites (news covers events, wikipedia covers facts), I prefer Twitter over Facebook (Twitter is about ideas and events (my substitute for news websites), Facebook is about people), I prefer Ted talks over Youtube. I don’t do these regularly. But when I find a pocket of time, I just spend it on these websites.
That is pretty much all I do to keep my brain in top shape. Always glad to hear of better ways to keep the brain in top notch shape. Do let me know if you have any cool suggestions.