Being a financial advisor, I tend to do a lot of my thinking with the left side of my brain. Finding solutions to problems, crunching numbers and using logical processes are all left side brain actions. In addition, even in my spare time I find myself doing things to feed my left side brain functionality. When I’m doing my chores, I listen to podcasts or audio books that are typically related to work, productivity or health/fitness topics. When I read, I find myself reading the same things that I listen to on podcasts.
Something changed this summer for me though. On Tuesday, July 23rd, I got the opportunity to see The Rolling Stones live in concert. For four hours (Yes, they still rock and would recommend see them if you are a fan), I stood on the floor of Lincoln Financial Field and listened to music, really listened to music for the first time in a long time. It was hot, really hot, but at the end, I felt….great.
So the next day, while doing my chores around the house, I decided to change up my routine and put on music instead of the podcast. Again, I felt great doing it, was more productive, felt refreshed and my brain felt really good. It was then that I realized that I had been starving the right side of my brain of the things that it needs to be effective. Right side brain activity helps with creativity, problem solving also, and imagination.
So because of this I’ve decided to change up my daily routine to add both right brain activities and left brain activities. Why do I think this is important? Here are a few thoughts:
- We are all super busy – With time being our #1 asset and the thing we all feel that we lack, having our brain act optimally will go a long way in increasing productivity and potentially freeing up more time for other things. Adding a little music to my morning routine has allowed me to focus better on my tasks that need to be completed in the morning.
- Long Term Cognitive Ability – For our retired clients, using both sides of the brain could potentially help with cognitive ability and memory. A study done by the University of Michigan, showed that as we age our brain uses both sides to remember things. So, if you are a right side brain person, do more left side brain activities and vice versa.
- Variety is the spice of life – Trying and doing new things is invigorating and stimulating. Getting outside one’s comfort zone can give a sense of accomplishment.
- Teaching Our Children – In a rapidly changing world where specific manual, mechanical or technological skill sets are being automated or outsourced, being able to think creatively AND logically can potentially keep you employed through economic transitions. Add the ability to engage individuals to demonstrate your creative problem solving solutions-you have a skill set that is very employable and very hard to outsource.