6 Hacks to Boost Your Brainpower at Work
4. Power Nap
A short sleep of about 15 to 30 minutes is most effective to improve mental performance. Not only does it allow your body to pay any sleep debt and help you feel more rested, it also reverses the information overload in your brain and strengthens the connection of neurons involved in muscle memory – making your brain work faster and more accurate. For a normal 8-hour day shift, workers in nap-friendly offices usually take power naps during their midday breaks. If napping is not allowed in the work setting, you can do it inside your car. If you are not that fond of napping, take a moment of silence. Close your eyes and meditate. This will clear your mind and maybe even train your body to nap.
5. Laugh Break
Loosen up. Take time to laugh by chatting with co-workers (who are also taking a break, of course) or watch a couple of entertaining videos on YouTube. It’s the act of laughing –or even the anticipation of a good laugh– that counteracts stress and poor mind functioning by decreasing the stress chemicals cortisol and epinephrine. Not only does laughing invigorate your spirit, it is also good for the heart. Laughing keeps you safe from vasoconstriction (the narrowing of the blood vessels), because your blood vessels expand when you are having a happy moment or watching funny scenes.
There are simple stretching exercises you can do at your desk to ease back pain, relieve nervous tension, relax stressed muscles, and boost energy. Many of these can be done effortlessly at your desk – sitting and standing without using the hands for support, inhaling deeply and shrugging your shoulders, or shaking your head slowly. You can also stretch as you walk towards a nearby coworker’s table instead of chatting with her on the internet. Instead of eating at your desk, it is best if you walk to a nearby eating place with a coworker whom you can talk to – you get more oxygen to your brain and will more likely to remember what you’ve said.
Or, if you have the privilege to bring work to the comfort of your home, you can actually take some moments to dance! Dancing helps stimulate the mind – from coordination to organization, to planning and judgment. As you dance to the music, you make different parts of your body move simultaneously and in synchronicity.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated throughout the day?
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