When you’re working at full speed, it’s easy to deplete your cognitive resources quickly. These tips to mentally recharge by Geil Browning for Inc. will help rejuvenate your senses and pump up your productivity.
- Stand, if possible. Invest in a standing desk or a desk-and-chair combination that promotes movement. Browning recommends the workstations by Focal Upright Furniture.
- Don’t multitask. Not only does multitasking slow you down, but it also causes you to make more mistakes.
- Avoid decision fatigue. “Making choices depletes your reserves of executive function, or ‘the mental system involved in abstract thinking, planning, and focusing on one thing instead of another,'” writes Browning. This means that the early morning debate over decaf or regular could negatively influence your afternoon choices between one job candidate or another.
- Work with your natural energy cycle. Whether you’re most alert at the crack of dawn or late at night, honor that energy by scheduling important meetings and tasks during peak attention periods.
- Relax regularly. Every 90 minutes, take a 10-minute break. You could meditate, practice a hobby, look at art, exercise, play with a pet or do anything else that relaxes you.
- Nap. Power naps boost your memory and your capability to learn.
- Head into nature. During your workday, take a break to walk around in a park. If you’re unable to get outside or work in a dense urban area, look out your window at trees or gaze at photos of nature. The great outdoors promotes relaxation and engages our involuntary attention, as Browning notes.
- Take a vacation. Even if you can’t actually get away from work for an extended period, hop on a mountain bike and go for a long ride. The change of scenery will refresh your brain and recharge your productivity.
(Photo credit: Hey Paul Studios/Flickr)