Good Monday's office yoga partner, Mind Your Business, shares three easy tips to supercharge your productivity during your workday.
Getting back to work after a relaxing time off can be a hard and difficult transition. Having to suddenly sit down and focus and be productive can feel stressful. Not just physically, but also mentally - especially if your mind is still on vacation.
Anchoring your attention is hard. In fact, the average person's attention span is only eight seconds, so it's no wonder we have such a hard time being productive. However, the good news is that we have the power to change that and increase our ability to focus and be attentive if we put in the effort.
Below are three tips that will help your brain to focus. Once you’ve learned how to sustain focus, you will start to notice that your concentration increases, and when that happens you are able to plunge into deeper states of work-related flow where you are super productive. And honestly who doesn't want that?!
1. Take brain breaks
We know it sounds counterintuitive to what we are trying to achieve here, but more hours doesn't always mean better work. On the contrary, studies show that taking breaks is essential to increase productivity, energy, concentration, efficiency, and creativity. So taking a brain break is exactly what you need in order to increase your focus and mental stamina.
How to: Incorporate your brain break whenever there is a natural transition during your workday. In between work assignments, before lunch, or straight before a meeting. Work for around 50-90 minutes, then take a break. The perfect length for your brain break is around 17 minutes according to a new study. To get the most out of your break it is important that you do anything else than work. So NO screen time at all. Instead, go for a walk, play table tennis with a colleague, or do some breath work or meditation. Anything else than work basically!
Multi-tasking will be the death of your productivity. It doesn’t make you more efficient or smarter, it just slows you down! Single-tasking is the way forward if you want to supercharge your productivity. Focusing on one thing helps your brain plunge into deeper states of concentration, which is the single most important skill to up-level your productivity.
How to: Look at your to-do list and choose one thing to focus on, finish it, and move on to the next most important thing. If you have a lot of things that are equally important just choose one of the things and work on it. Before you sit down to work make sure to accommodate your needs. So have water and snacks by your side, so you don’t need to make unnecessary trips to the kitchen.
3. Breathe yourself to a more focused mind
The breath is one of the most powerful (and free!) neuro hacks we have for improving concentration. When you are working on something that requires your full and undivided attention, focused breathing helps you direct what your mind is paying attention to and focus on that thing without any distractions.
How to: The following breath technique helps create a more balanced, calm, and focused mind. It is called box breathing and it involves holding your breath and breathing in a regular pattern for a set number of counts. For example, breath in four, hold four, exhale four, hold four. This gets you out of the left brain thinking and into the more subtle layers of your right brain being.