Cognitive flexibility means ensuring your thoughts and responses are as malleable as play dough. This involves switching your thinking, in order to rev up your brain cells and enable you to be robust in problem-solving and reasoning.
As an office professional you will often have several things flung your way in one go and flexible thinking will mean that you are able to prioritise these things according to many variable factors like priority, availability, manageability, resolvability etc.
We live in a fast-paced world with many daily demands. When I print a document and collect it from the communal printer I will use the time to have a body-break, greet colleagues, make a cup of tea for an executive or two, assist around the office, check that the boardrooms have been cleaned & refreshed… and get back to my desk to return to my work. We’re constantly on-the-go physically & mentally and just as we try to attend gym or exercise sessions and consider our nutritional intake to take care of ourselves physically, we should therefore try to stimulate our brains too.
You can train your brain to remain malleable by doing little things differently during your day like:
- Brush your teeth using your less dominant hand
- Drive to work via a different route
- Park in a different spot
- Listen to podcasts in the traffic, to alleviate stress and make your trips interesting
- Download and play cognitive skill/brain game apps on your cell phone
- Try to do simple maths in your head
Exercising your brain will improve your mental agility, as well as your executive functioning and reasoning. Try to broaden your horizons, change your perspective and open yourself to different ways of thinking.