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7 Ways To Focus At Work

When working an average of eight hours a day, it’s all too easy to lose focus with the important tasks of the day.  Here, clinical psychologist and founder of Memory Arts LLC, Cynthia Green, explains 7 ways to focus at work which you can put to practice in the next 5 minutes.   If you think you’ve read them all before, then think again.  Some of them are rather original – if you doodle, aka a doodler, you may be pleased to know that this can apparently help you to focus!

7 Ways To Focus At Work

Doodle To Focus

Doodling Can Help You To Focus!

1. Rearrange You Desk. Clear some clutter from your life. Folks who are organized remember better. Why? Because they have mastered one of the secret to better memory — getting organized. Spend 5 minutes organizing your desk by getting rid of what is non-essential. Keep out papers that require immediate attention and file away what you can. Look over how your desk is organized and see if you can think of a better way to put it all together.

2. Doodle. Do you doodle? Many of us (including folks such as Bill Gates, former President Clinton and others) do. But did you know that doodling is good for your brain health? Recent research suggests that doodling helps us maintain focus and remember more effectively. A recent study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology found that subjects assigned a doodling task performed 29 percent better than their non-doodling counterparts on a surprise memory test covering the material they were learning simultaneously. Doodling improves attention, making it more likely that you will acquire things that you later want to recall. So when you are in a meeting or on a conference call, go ahead and doodle.

3. Keep Up Your Social Network. Studies have shown that folks who are more social have an associated reduced risk for memory loss. In one recent study, Harvard researchers found that people with lower levels of social interaction were more likely to show memory problems after 6 years that desk and connect with your family and friends for 5 minutes. It’s good for your soul and good for your brain.

4. Play Online. Research has shown that we can better maintain intellectual skills critical to our work performance by giving them a good “workout.” One of the best ways to keep these skills sharp is to play games against the clock. Timed activities force us to focus, think fast and be nimble in our approach. So take 5 minutes during lunch or as your schedule permits to get your brain in the game.

5. Jump Some Jacks. Here’s a tip that’s pretty basic, but packed with brain boosting power. Aerobic exercise is one of the best things we can do for our brain, as it revs up our daily performance and reduces our long-term dementia risk. Jumping jacks area simple calisthenic exercise you can do in a small space that will quickly get your blood pumping. So go ahead! Stand up at your desk and try out some jumping jacks for 5 minutes.

6. Wear Your Watch Upside Down. Give your brain a little stretch each time you check your watch by wearing your watch upside down. The subtle change doesn’t take much effort, but will force your brain to think out of its comfort zone. These kinds of “neurobic” activities are simple and fun and are a terrific way to challenge your brain’s flexibility and routine.

7. Learn How to Remember a Name. Here’s a smart tip we can all really use: Spend 5 minutes learning some simple memory strategies to boost your memory for names. For example, try repeating information as you hear it. This easy technique will force you to focus on what you are learning and give the chance to rehearse it, increasing the odds that you’ll remember it. Or use my Connections Technique and make a connection between what you are learning and something that you are already know. Meeting Florence? Connect her name to a famous Florence, such as Florence Nightingale, or the city of Florence, Italy.

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Of these 7 ways to focus at work, the suggestions that jumped out to me, aside from doodling, were the tips to organise your desk and jump some jacks.  In England, I think these are referred to as star jumps.  It should be made compulsory that every 40 minutes on the office floor, everyone stands at their desks and does 5 minutes of star jumps to get oxygen flowing around the brain.  I wonder what would happen with productivity?