Its 3pm in the afternoon and this task assigned to you is a long way from being solved. Your eyes are aching and your head is about explode, but you can’t quit…you just have to get this issue resolved by end of the business (EOB) day because every day you have to give a status report in your morning standup. At 5pm, you head home after which you go to bed worried about the lie you have to come up with in the status meeting the next day.
The next morning you come in an hour earlier and within 20 minutes, you solve your problem!! The solution was right in front of you and you wonder how you missed it all through yesterday. This is a common challenge most folks face in the workplace –especially folks whose job description includes creativity and problem solving. This article will share some creative ways to increase your brain management and in turn, improve your ability to be productive at the right time.
From my experience, it is not how many hours you put in, but much you get done at the shortest possible time that determines your worth to a firm. A lot of studies have shown that you are most productive in the mornings. I have lost count of the number of times during which I and my team mates have solved and completed tasks within the first two hours of a work day (usually before 11am). Avoid unnecessary chit chats in the morning. The brain energies you are expending to analyze yesterday’s game or final episode should be devoted to unlocking the solution to your task.
Secondly, work in spurts. From time to time, our brains need to wander to jolt it out of hibernation. The longer you look at your screen or think about a subject, your ability to get it solved reversely goes down. Things as inconsequential as taking your eyes off your screen to browse social media (on your phone), text or call a friend or a five-minute conversation with your cube mate will go a long way to refresh your brain. An typical work spurt ranges from forty-five minutes to one hour.
Thirdly, take lunch breaks. I know folks who never leave their desks all day. Bad habits such as eating on your desk should be avoided at all costs. Ever heard the saying “change of scenery”. Also, bringing your own lunch should not be an excuse for eating at your desk – most firms have a break room. That period of disconnect within which you nourish yourself also helps in recharging you brain and gives you a renewed zeal to get back to your desk and finish your task.
Another tip is to engage in your office informal activities. Most folks in the IT industry are familiar with nerf guns, toy helicopters etc; a situation where grown men and women use these toys and act like kids for a couple of minutes. To an outsider, this may seem ridiculous but these behaviors are known to help relieve stress. They joy you get from these games at work increases adrenalin, pumps more blood to the brain which gives you a brain boost. This is crucial especially when you are close to solving your task and all you need is the last counter to fall in place.
Finally, listen to music. This helps a lot; besides, it keeps out the office chatter and encapsulates you in your own world where you can get a lot done. When you are listening to your favorite music, it evokes good emotions, makes you happy and generates more adrenalin for your system.