My key to dealing with stress is simple: just stay cool and stay focused – Ashton Eaton
Exercise, particularly aerobics, has been shown to increase cognitive function. This can be due to reasons such as increased oxygen supply to the brain and chemicals released when exercising. This basically means that after you exercise, you are likely to work more efficiently and will be able to stay focused.
If you’ve been working all day and start feeling sluggish, groggy or tired, get up and go for a walk or do some stretches to get your blood flowing. Just 20 minutes of exercise a day can benefit your productivity.
Staying hydrated is often overlooked as a way to increase concentration. When your body is even slightly dehydrated, you start experiencing problems such as brain fatigue and brain fog, which hinders your ability to focus. The main reason for this being that water gives the brain electrical energy that is required for all functions.
It’s extremely important to drink water as soon as you wake up. This will rehydrate you from the water lost during sleep, so you can ensure you’re going to have a productive morning. Keep a water bottle near you throughout the day so you can ensure your brain will stay hydrated, oxygenated and healthy. If you start feeling groggy, it may be tempting to go grab a coffee, but try drinking some water first because it may be the solution.
Many people multitask assuming it will allow them to get more done in a shorter amount of time, however it works the opposite way. By forcing yourself to multitask you cause your brain get overwhelmed, hindering productivity.
Try instead to focus on one specific task for 20 minutes at a time, then focus on the next. By doing this, you are allowing yourself to put all of your efforts into the given task for a short and realistic amount of time before switching gears into the next task. Not only will you be more efficient, but you may even see an improvement in the overall quality of your work.
Checking your phone has the same effect on the brain as multitasking. Even though you may not consider checking your phone “working”, looking at text messages or emails causes your brain to shift perspective onto that task rather than the one at hand. This also causes you to lose your train of thought and throws off your time management.
When you’re trying to stay focused, turn your phone on silent or use the Do Not Disturb setting, so you can still receive all your messages and calls, without your phone alerting you that you’ve received a message. This will make you less inclined to answer every text or email the second you receive it.
Breaks are extremely important for your mental, physical and emotional well being. If you start feeling overwhelmed throughout the day, don’t feel ashamed to give your body and mind the rest that it needs. Taking regular breaks will help you de-stress, collect your thoughts, boost your overall productivity.
By allowing yourself to get up, stretch, or take a walk, you can avoid pain or discomfort in the neck, back or legs that are linked to sitting for an extended period of time. Personally, I give myself a set amount of time to work, then after I reach that time I reward myself with a break. So I will work for one hour, then take a five-minute break where I get up from my chair and walk to get some water or a healthy snack such as fruit or nuts.
By doing this I feel refreshed and ready to take on the next task. Try this for a week and I guarantee you will feel happier and more productive at work.
Many people, myself included, can benefit from this one. Organizing is a key to success in all areas of life. If you ever find yourself feeling completely overwhelmed and unable to concentrate, take a look around and see if your workspace is cluttered. Studies have shown that desk clutter can lead to a cluttered mind.
By taking just 10 minutes each day to declutter your desk, you can experience a significant increase in mental clarity. Also, it is important to organize your day by keeping To Do lists for your day to day activities. By writing down everything you need to get done for that day, you can then get a clear idea of how exactly you should manage your time for that day and plan your work according to what’s most important.
Helen Sanders is the chief editor at HealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.
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