5 Ways to Energize Your Mind at Work (Backed By Science)
is the Head of Marketing at Lean Labs. His experience ranges from higher education to SMBs and tech startups. When not doing digital marketing, he's sure to be enjoying some kind of nerdy pastime.
When your mind is sluggish at work, your performance takes a hit. You lose productivity and focus, and the quality of your work begins to suffer.
If you're like me, being unable to focus leads to frustration! Tasks you would normally finish quickly, seem to take forever and you read the same sentence multiple times without comprehending what it says.
Scientific Ways to Energize Your Mind at Work
You don't have to suffer through this if you don't want to. There are steps you can take to prevent a sluggish mind, as well as to reenergize your mind at work.
1. Move It, Move It.
Get up. Move around. Take the long way. Use the stairs. Park further away than the parking spot closest to the entrance. Use your legs, your feet, your heart rate. The more blood that pumps, the more oxygen reaches your brain which improves the sharpness of thought, alertness, and powers your ability to be cognitively productive.
According to BrainRules, exercise improves cognition for two reasons:
1. It increases oxygen flow to the brain - which brings an uptick in mental sharpness.
2. It increases the neurons created by the brain, and increases their resistance to damage and stress.
You may already exercise on a regular basis but try to think of ways that you can add a little more mobility to your workday. Don’t miss valuable opportunities that your workday presents to get your blood pumping and oxygenize the brain.
Get up and move it!
2. Catch Some Z's.
Sleep is needed to regenerate certain parts of the body, emphatically the brain so that it may continue to function optimally, this article states. After periods of extended wakefulness or reduced sleep, neurons may begin to malfunction, visibly affecting a person’s behavior negatively.
Lack of sleep introduces many negative side effects that can be consequential to the quality of productivity. Irritability, lack of appropriate response, headaches, muscle fatigue, brain fatigue, loss of memory retrieval, unregulated reactions, and hallucinations are some of the less than desirable attributes that sleep deprivation will reward you with.
How much sleep do I really need? Everyone is different. Some require more, some people require less. There are some recommended amounts for the appropriate ages given here.
Refresh that brain of yours and snooze.
3. Hello, Hydration.
The brain is made up of a whopping 80% water! The brain is the control panel of our body, sending and receiving electrical signals through our nervous system, which is actually an elaborate system of tiny waterways.
This article gives a comprehensive overview of the body’s need for water and its uses in making life happen throughout a body. Experts believe that the lack of an adequate amount of water leads to the distortion of signals to the nervous system which may be the cause of several major disorders plaguing society. When acknowledging the vital performance that water represents in our brain and nervous system, it is conceivably the purest essential element to health and endurance. Without enough water, the brain becomes sluggish and it’s full productive capacity will not be reached.
Looking at the facts, it seems as though we should be drinking it up on the H2O. The “water” in sodas, coffee, tea, fruit juices, and the like, does not count as it is accompanied by sodium or a diuretic (including caffeine) which flushes water from the body. It needs to be pure water. The addition of fresh sliced fruit is a healthy way to infuse more flavor into your beverage.
Drink it up.
4. Drop it Like its... Cold?
You’ve been there. Warm temps make you want to let those already drooping eyelids become heavier and shut with a limp sigh. You fight it. Maybe to close your eyes for a few moments would be just the thing you need to get through the day. No way, you need to get that mind back on track! You need to be productive! Don’t give in. You can change the situation.
Drop the temperature.
Pretty easy, right? Do you realize that the human body prevents overheating by opening blood vessels in order to allow more blood flow to the skin? The dilated vessels lower the blood pressure and reduce oxygen levels which causes heat fatigue. A by-product of this fatigue is moodiness, hostility and sluggish reactions.
This intriguing study identifies the level of cognitive productivity measured from participants that were asked to perform various tasks in a warm(77°F) or a cool (67°F) room. The participants who were in the cooler room performed remarkably better. The results imply that even simple cognitive tasks can be negatively affected by warm temperatures.
Turn the heat down and your energy up!
5. Too Much Stuff.
Clutter, untidiness, and messes do not present your mind with a clean platform to generate ideas and productivity. The more you have going on, the less you are able to effectively focus.
From the scientific report in this article, we understand that when your setting is cluttered, the disorder prohibits your ability to focus. The mayhem that surrounds your workstation will limit your brain’s ability to process information effectively and complete the necessary tasks. In short: the more stuff, the less concentration.
Your workstation should be as organized as possible, with each resource having its own place. A little organizational work will show itself in the level of productivity that you exhibit.
Clear the clutter so you can clear your mind.
Keep Your Brain Energized
Multiple small changes accumulate into large advancements when done simultaneously. Institute these five simple solutions and your mental energy will increase resulting in noticeable productivity.
Go ahead. Be the best you.