Three Important Productivity Tips

Posted on December 26th, 2012

Source: HBR Blog Network - Quick and Easy Ways to Quiet Your Mind

Neuroscience tells us that, to be more productive and creative, we need to give our brains a break. It’s the quiet mind that produces the best insights. But it’s a challenge to take that sort of time off in the midst of a busy day. Here are three specific, quick and easy ways to build purposeful break time into your day.

Quick Meditation

If you commute via public transportation (or even if you’re a passenger in a car pool) use the time to close your eyes for 10 minutes. If you drive, leave a little early, park and spend 10 minutes in the car before you walk into work. Choose a very specific image, such as a waterfall, beach or tree, and try to focus on it alone. If other thoughts get in the way, gently push them aside. Do this once or twice per day. The goal is to let your mind achieve a sense of relaxed awareness.

Pulsing

Download a “break-reminder” utility, such as Scirocco or Healthy Hints, and set it to ping you every 90 minutes. Focus hard on a particular task until that cue. And then take a walk, talk to a colleague, doodle or listen to music. Do anything that renews you and gives you a “second wind,” even if you think you don’t need it. You do. Five minutes later, get back to work.

Daydream Walks

Start by taking 20 minutes, two days a week during your lunch break to take a stroll and daydream. Think about anything you want besides work — a beach vacation, building your dream house, playing shortstop for the Yankees, whatever. Ramp it up to three or four days a week. The next time someone catches you daydreaming on the job and asks you why you’re not working, tell them that in fact you’re tapping into your creative brain.

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