Your office brain: brightly lighting up or barely keeping up?

Most of us spend longer picking out an outfit before a job interview or important presentation than preparing our brain for optimum performance. Yet super-sharp cognitive ability can help us land our dream job / get the promotion we want / receive recognition at work as a top performer. It might also save us from feeling miserable, overwhelmed or in a constant state of brain-fog at work.

Everyone’s attention span is vulnerable and our ability to focus on a task is diminished if we are under stress / overwhelmed by volume of work / in a distracting environment / bored or lacking a clear plan of action. Research shows that our brain wanders away from the task at hand 50% of the time. The good news is that with practice you can train your brain to become more resilient to these problems.

The body-brain connection

The simple act of getting up from your desk and moving around not only benefits you physically but can also turbo-charge your mental state. Studies show that prolonged sitting affects the brain’s fuel supply and has a negative impact on brain health, resulting in poor performance, ‘brain fog’, lack of focus and even depression.

Try This:

  • Walk during phone calls (or persuade colleagues to join you for a walking meeting – studies show that you get more done and make faster decisions than in the boardroom)
  • Walk to a colleague’s desk instead of sending them an email (you’ll get an instant response and build better working relationships this way)
  • Visit the bathroom / coffee machine / recycling bin on a different floor to your desk (take the stairs, not the lift and you will improve your cardiovascular health and warm up a bit too)
  • Take a lunchtime walk or fitness / yoga class to re-boot your energy and focus

Overwhelmed?

If we are all mentally ‘time travelling’ (ruminating over past problems or worrying about imagined future outcomes) for half our waking hours it has a devastating impact on our ability to perform with mental clarity. Studies show that during times that we are ‘lost in thought’ and not paying attention to the present moment we often feel overwhelmed, stressed or unhappy and are unable to make clear decisions.

 

Try This:

When you feel overwhelm setting in: take a few minutes to close your eyes and focus on your breathing. This simple ‘reboot’ for the brain helps calm the nervous system, reducing stress and giving you some headspace for clear decisions. Learn simple but amazingly effective techniques such as these in our ‘Energy Reboot’ sessions.

Yoga to Improve Focus: Tree Pose

The tree pose (Vrksasana) is a great way to train your ability to calm your mind, ground yourself and find focus. Check out this short instructional video if you fancy giving it a try (credit: Howcast).

Office Yoga classes offer excellent brain training for ‘real world’ challenges off the mat as well as a wonderful physical energy-boost on the mat. It nurtures our ability to tune in to focus on the present moment and to shut out distractions. Scientific studies have proven that it helps participants to process information quickly and more accurately and also learn, hold and update pieces of information more effectively. What better tool-kit of benefits from anyone wanting to perform better at work?

Eat your way to a clearer brain

Ten foods to add to your office lunch to boost your brain power
(Credit: BBC GoodFood).

Beat stress – Think straight

When the brain is taxed by continuous pressure to think fast, it cannot function to its full capacity. Massage helps to calm your mind, allowing you to step away from the problem or task at hand,  and freeing up space for subconscious creative thought. When we are given the time and the luxury of relaxation at work, we are able to think more clearly and effectively.

Would you like more headspace in your office? Learn more about how Thrive at Work’s Chair Massage service can help.

Want to think clearly at work?

Let the Thrive At Work team help you to find solutions that work for your company.