Are distractions getting the best of you? Are you having problems concentrating? Or, does your head feel like it’s full of cobwebs? You may be experiencing mental block—something we all encounter from time to time.
It’s when deadlines are pressing and ideas aren’t flowing that work may become especially stressful. Share these simple tips to improve your concentration as well as that of your team:
- Exercise: Regular exercise is associated with improved concentration, reasoning, problem solving and memory. It can provide temporary respite from everyday stressors and work-related concerns and boost energy in the process. Participants need not adopt the latest extreme home workout video or challenge. In fact, walking just three kilometres or cycling for 15 kilometres five days a week may improve the brain’s health and performance. Even a short, impromptu power walk can clear your mind and invite focus.Encourage regular exercise with a friendly challenge. Invite employees to log their daily kilometres or minutes for a chance to win an exercise kit, balance ball set or yoga mat.
- Eat smart food: Include smart foods in your daily diet, such as blueberries, salmon, avocado, eggs, nuts, leafy greens and even dark chocolate, to optimize brainpower and improve concentration. On the same note, avoid highly processed foods or those loaded with saturated fat and sugar. Consuming these foods can affect focus and productivity.If you bring donuts to the morning meeting or award employees with food, opt instead for an array of fresh fruit or mixed nuts.
- Turn on the background noise: Findings from a Journal of Consumer Research study show that small levels of background noise can actually heighten focus and creativity. Working at a local coffee shop or listening to relaxing music may boost concentration.
- Succumb to distraction: Sometimes, succumbing to distraction is a better strategy than fighting it. If your mind is wandering, consider indulging in whatever is tempting you. For instance, checking emails, browsing social media or sending that text you vowed to put off until after your project was complete may be just the temporary respite you need. Taking a quick break and allowing yourself to temporarily lose focus allows you to turn your attention back to work when ready.
- Meditate: Meditation has the power to recharge tired minds; improve focus, memory and creativity; and increase energy. A simple online search will return several meditation apps that can help guide the process, but the concept is quite simple—all one needs to do is sit quietly with eyes closed and focus on breathing. You may even consider providing ear buds to help your team members quiet and focus themselves.
Use these helpful tips to say “goodbye” to mental block and “hello” to focus, memory and creativity. Good luck!