Career

6 Hacks to Boost Your Brainpower at Work

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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.

6 Hacks to Boost Your Brainpower at Work

The “Napping Energy Pod”: I want one!!

5. Laugh Break

6 Hacks to Boost Your Brainpower at WorkLoosen 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.

6. Stretching

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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A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

51 Comments

  1. Wilma Moore

    Looking forward to more articles about working stuff. Urbanette never disappoints me. Love love.

  2. Kelly Gonzales

    Whenever I read articles from Urbanette, I always learned something from it. Such an inspiration, good job guys!

  3. Evelyn Harris

    I guess I should try switching task. I used to work on a different task at a time and ends up having a poor quality of the job. Need to freshen up my brain.

  4. Dawn Katz

    My work is home based, whenever I feel sleepy or tired during work hours, I exercise to wake myself up. 8 hours of working is not a joke, especially when you’re working at home. The temptation is everywhere.

  5. Luisa Rodriguez

    I’m always tired at work, I don’t know why. I think there’s something wrong in my mind and in my body, or maybe I just hate my job. Lol

  6. Kimberly Holder

    The switch task will work if your boss is not pressuring you too much.

  7. Ani Hoker

    In Japan, they allowed workers to sleep, hope that America would allow this too. We’re not robots!

  8. Eloisa Clay

    It’s an advantage if you have an officemate who’s always making you laugh. It lessens the stress and makes the work lighter.

  9. Katherine Donnelly

    That is why it is important that every cafeteria should serve fruits and vegetables.

  10. George Sumanta

    Numbers, 1 to 6 are all useful. Doing this at my work.

  11. Britni Baynes

    Wow! This article helps me a lot. I’m always tired even though the shift has just started and I don’t know what to do. I work at a fast food chain. Eating and Napping during work hours is impossible so I guess I’ll try the hydrated and stretching.

  12. Jeweli Prater

    Can laughing really boost your brain at work? I always laugh at work and I ended up being tired because of laughing too hard. LOL

  13. Lancy Stanford

    That’s what I’m talking about! Really enjoyed reading articles in Urabanette because they are really helpful. You’ve helped me a lot ever since I read your articles. Kudos!

  14. Zerin Martin

    This article is really helpful. It’s really hard to overcome the laziness that you feel when you’re tired, and that can result for a tardiness. These tips are actually effective (based on my experiences), plus the fact that you love your work, you’ll never get tired of it.

  15. Marina Josef

    Bringing food is prohibited in our office, but I’m smart enough to hide it inside my underwear so everytime I’m hungry, I don’t need to go to my locker to eat. I will just pull out my crackers or chocolate. Sneaky when hungry.

  16. Luthi Sanders

    I have my own tumbler beside me every time so that I can hydrate myself easily because the water refiller is far from my office desk. You should always bring different tumbler for water, juice and hot beverages.

  17. Marina Bozek

    I and my officemates also smoke during break hours, and it gives us the energy to work. I know smoking has a bad effect on our health but does it also counted as a booster?

  18. Kseniya Tomlin

    I ended up gaining weight with eating snacks during working hours. Maybe I should try the stretching part so I can properly digest the food. Thanks for this xoxo.

  19. Jesse Wyss

    I used to sneak some nap whenever my boss isn’t around, HAHA! that’s normal right? I mean, I can’t work properly if I don’t do that.

  20. Jessie Fernande

    Learned a lot from this article! More power urbanette! You can sneak some sleep if your boss is not around. LOL

  21. Yuliya Bruce

    I always walk in the corridor so I can digest my food properly but it ends up making me more tired. What’s wrong with me?

  22. Lana Wiliam

    I gain weight by eating during working, thanks for this! I will now look for what I am eating during working hours. I used to eat fries, sandwiches, and chips. I also don’t have time working out so yeah, I really gained weight because of that habit.

  23. Nataliya Smith

    I think offices have their own space for napping for their employees. Isn’t that great? I mean, it’s really helpful, besides, they are their employees working for them, and they should take care of them.

  24. Jurik Smith

    I and my co-workers are always watching funny videos on youtube as our past time. Smoking also gives me energy when working, I don’t know if it works on other people.

  25. Angelo Henderso

    Having a 15-30 minutes nap is really helpful. If you’re working at home, it’s easy to have a power nap, but if you’re working at the office, you’ll need to wait for your break or sneak a nap. Lol

  26. Selli Coaze

    Sleeping at work is prohibited, but at my company napping is not. You can take a nap during your break. Eating while working is not bad, your boss will understand why you’re eating, but of course, know where, and when you’re allowed to eat snacks. Do not chitchat with your co-workers during work time, you might get fired with that. You can do stretching anytime you want. Always bring your water with you. Don’t over use yourself.

  27. Honey Smith

    Whenever I’m bored, I always watch funny videos secretly to boost myself, and I ended up laughing too hard. My boss caught me. LOL!

  28. Bela Christo

    That is why I always have packed fruits in my bag, and I always bring a lot of water. It’s true, food will give you energy at work. How about sleeping is not allowed when working? I don’t know, won’t sacrifice my break for a nap, though they say that it is really effective.

  29. Ana Brose

    Oh, thank you for these tips! I always feel tired even it’s too early to get tired, and now I got the best tips! Will probably do this, hope this will work for me LOL.

  30. Jenifer Jeni

    #1 is really true. I always eat snacks when working (healthy snacks) to avoid getting bored, because being bored makes me feel tired.

  31. Jeni Morgan

    I love reading articles in Urbanette because I learned a lot from them. This article will really help me at work, especially that I’m working for 8 hours a day, and it is really exhausting. Thanks for this!

  32. Matilda Parker

    I play web-based mind games. I think stimulating my brain in new and diverse ways help.

  33. Colleen Washington

    Perfect! This is what I needed to read. The truth is, I’m having a hard time getting motivated at the office. Most of the time, I just can’t concentrate.

  34. Gerard

    Awesome tips! It’s interesting to know all these. Now I know what to do whenever I feel like I can’t finish a report.

  35. Instead of submitting poor reports, I doodle whenever I feel stressed out or bored or when thoughts simply stopped flowing.

  36. Norisna

    Very good recommendations Hilary, about all for those are still working. Working is good but keep our good health at work is better!

  37. Juli Woods

    I dress the part! I feel motivated when I feel beautiful.

  38. Hena Taylor

    Thank you for writing this article! I’m not yet working but I’m currently finishing my thesis and want to give up. I think your tips will help me!

  39. Lusi Martin

    I make sure to get up and prepare early for work every morning! I mean I feel distracted and stressed all throughout if I tried to “beat the clock.”

  40. Jessi Agusta

    Caffeine is my stimulant.

  41. Anila William

    In general, I keep myself motivated at work by setting my goals digitally. Have you heard of commitment trackers like Goals on Track and Beeminder?!

  42. Cristina Joseff

    I celebrate my accomplishments, whether big or small! Can be simple reward for myself like going out for ice cream or visiting the spa…

  43. Nancy Smith

    Great article! I sometimes wonder why there’s a LOT of negativity around.

  44. Maria Bruce

    If I’m stressed out over a client, project, supervisor or colleague, I walk away. I mean, removing myself from my desk is a way to reframe my perspective…

  45. Quin Meri

    I drink a ton of coffee… works for me! Keeps my on my toes all day.

  46. Hannah Mayers

    Giving myself a break, even a 15-minute break after 3-4 hours of work helps. Having a short break brings back my focus and enthusiasm on accomplishing my reports.

  47. Courtney Watson

    Power nap and stretching works for me! Sometimes it’s really hard to keep your focus because your brain gets tired LOL! Getting out of my table for a while and have some stretching brings back my focus and produce the best output!

  48. These are excellent tips! I've never been particularly fond of napping, but I'll definitely give the meditative moment of silence a try. As for dance breaks, I'll just have to convince my professors it's a good idea…

  49. Jen Spillane

    I love the idea of taking dance breaks!

  50. Good tips. I know when I'm in school,, I tend to get drained easily. It's time to change my routine up !!!!! Power naps never worked for me because I think it takes me about 30 minutes to fully fall asleep. Unless I'm completely exhausted I can fall asleep earlier.I do think for me the power snack and stay hydrates helps boost energy. Oh and definitely the laugh break!!!

  51. Jen Garcia

    I learned in psych that a 30-45 minute nap makes up for 2 hours of lost sleep. Any longer is just detrimental to your sleep cycle and health. I also totally agree that multitasking can be bad, it results in way too much mental stimulation and it's exhausting!

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