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8 Ways To Focus By Taking a Break

It may be refreshing to know that it’s not abnormal for your mind to completely freeze up when you’re sat in the same place for too long. Here, Susan Adams, For Forbes, lists 8 ways to focus by taking a break, some of which are rather original. A previous post called How To Improve Your Focus And Creativity describes how you can often have your best ideas when away from your working environment, such as in the shower. These tips are based on research carried out by John P. Trougakos, an assistant management professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the Rotman School of Management, and also James A. Levine, a professor at the Mayo Clinic.

Exercise For Focus1. Take a walk around the block.
Fresh air combined with a change of scene can boost productivity.

2. Take a nap.
Some offices offer this as a perk. Closing your eyes for a 15-minute catnap can be hugely refreshing.

3. Chat with a colleague.
Even if you only make small talk, a fresh perspective on your day can help you get a new perspective on the task at hand.

4. Run an errand
Like walking around the block, getting out of the office and taking care of business can give your mind a break and the exercise will get your blood flowing.

5. Brush your teeth.
The symbolism of removing decay and plaque can be especially potent when you are feeling sluggish.

6. Spend ten minutes checking Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites.
This is not as good for you as leaving your desk, but the mental distraction can offer a helpful break. Monitor your time however and don’t let yourself be distracted for more than five minutes.

7. Go to the gym
If your company has an exercise facility, take advantage.

8. Go out to lunch
Judging from the habits of my colleagues, lunch out of the office is a dying American habit. But a healthy meal and good conversation can be nourishing on multiple levels.

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I think I’ve tried every one of these 8 ways to focus by taking a break, except for brushing my teeth. As a previous employee for a rather large firm, I think I’d have received some rather strange looks in the gents’ toilets if I was seen brushing my teeth at random times throughout the day. It was interesting to see social  media is advised as a way of taking a mental break, dangerous though it is. If you don’t trust yourself you can use a free tool like Stay Focused (for Chrome) which allows you to set time limits on certain sites.



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