We all know the side effects and benefits of most foods. An early morning donut will likely put you to sleep at your desk, whereas some solid protein for breakfast puts an extra pep in your step. Many of us are relatively intentional about what goes in our mouths, but we’re not nearly as picky as we should be with what goes in our brains.
When is the last time you thought about brain stimulus like food groups? I’ve noticed a big difference in my productivity, my attitude, and my energy when I pay attention to what I feed my brain throughout the day. Below is how I think about certain stimulus as if they were food groups:
- Reading a book will cleanse and nourish (my favorite in a long while: Zero to One).
- Podcasts. Great pick me up and creative boost.
- Industry articles and blogs are like eating salads. Should do it more often and feel good about it when you do.
- Ted Talks and speeches are like Kale. It’s all the rage and your friends on the west coast have been doing it for years.
- Checking email and social media when you first wake up. It’s like a giant donut ruining the rest of your day.
- Local news. At any time.
- Morning radio. Almost as bad as eating no breakfast at all.
- Toxic people. Give them up like you should drinking soda.
- Reality TV. Small doses and never two days in a row.
Nobody’s perfect and we all don’t want to be the paleo-diet-crazed-friend who just can’t go three sentences without talking about Crosffit. And like junk food, the guilty pleasures can be a nice relief in small doses. Overall, if you’re more intentional about consuming and reading quality content, your performance and attitude will dramatically improve. We all have morning commutes or daily routines that are opportunities to remove the junk and insert some quality brain food. Just for a week, put down your email and pick up a book.