Mental Tips to Stay Fresh and Engaged
Most of us try to do way too much. By constantly multi-tasking or never giving yourself a chance to relax, you actually accomplish less over a longer period of time. Plus, the work is often of poorer quality. Your brain is like a muscle: if you want to keep it strong and healthy, you need to give it adequate opportunity to recover throughout the day.
Brain drain is a real thing that can severally impact your health, happiness, and productivity. The constant barrage of notifications and time spent on your phone and computer can quickly become overwhelming. All that mental clutter can prevent you from being able to focus.
Here are three great ways to give your brain a chance to relax during the day.
Write It Down
There are times when you are in the middle of something and you suddenly have a great idea for tomorrow’s meeting or remember that you need to stop and pick up milk on the way home. At this point, even though it may not seem like you are actively multitasking, your brain is now attempting to focus on what you were originally doing, while also using energy to make sure you remember this new thought.
By keeping a notepad next to you, you can capture all of these thoughts and ideas as soon as they pop up, which will allow your brain to then let that information go. In doing so, you can free up energy to focus on what you are currently working on, while also allowing other random thoughts to come to the surface.
Writing down thoughts, tasks, ideas, and reminders will help you remember them better. You can use a notepad on your computer, but the physical act of writing out important things helps connects the information back to your neural pathways for greater recall.
The average adult has an attention span of anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes. To maintain physical and mental health, it is best to get up from your desk at least every hour and a half. If you notice that you are experiencing mental fatigue or are just not getting anything done, take a break sooner.
On these breaks, it is important that you get up and move around. Take a walk outside or do some simple stretching. If you need more than a few minutes, read a chapter in your book or spend some time meditating. All of these activities will help reset your mental focus, allowing you to get more done.
Playing music while you work has been proven to increase not only focus and productivity, but also happiness. While you may tune out the music most of the time, you may find that when you are starting to lose focus on your work you begin to pay more attention to the song that is playing. This shifting of focus can give your brain a quick and passive break.
Ever see someone doodling in a meeting? You probably think that this means they are disengaged. But, in fact, it can be quite the opposite. A lot of people find that sketching out their thoughts is a great way to concentrate on the present topic. Since we are so accustomed to constantly doing something with our hands, doodling can satisfy this impulse while helping you focus.
Making lists, taking breaks throughout the day, listening to music, and doodling are all great ways to increase your productivity without increasing mental fatigue. Of course, everyone is different. Try out these strategies to see what is most effective and comes most naturally to you.
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