If you want to be the smartest person in the room, you need to learn to maximize your mental potential. Especially since your mental ability can vary 20 or 30 percent over the course of the day. So, here's how to make the best use of your brain, courtesy of the book The Best of Health by Consumer Reports:
  • First, creativity and the ability to process information peaks in the morning. So, between 7 and 9 a.m. is the ideal time for writing, generating ideas, or studying subjects, such as math.
  • Then, your short-term memory works best in the morning. So 9 to 11 a.m. is the best time to review your notes for a meeting or an upcoming test.
  • Another way to make the best use of your brain: Remember you're most mentally alert shortly before noon. Which means 11 to 12:30 is the best time to tackle complex problems that need logic or careful planning, but not maximum creativity.
  • Finally, your long-term memory maxes out in late afternoon or early evening. So, 4 to 7 p.m. is the best time to soak up new information.
To recap, be creative at 7 a.m., review what you know at 9, do projects that require alertness just before noon, and learn new things in the late afternoon. And you'll be well on your way to maximizing your intelligence for the day.