We get more done when we are alert and focused. Research has proven that we need to refresh our bodies in order to get the most from our minds. One of the best time management tips is using “breaks” to refresh our system so we achieve maximum productivity.
There are many kinds of refreshing “breaks” we can take in order to get more done during the day.
If you’re looking for a great time management tip, you’ll want to know all you can about using “breaks” to revitalize your body and clear your mind
It’s time to take action and refocus! Try some of my favorite types of “breaks” to refresh your body and your mind.
The attention center of the brain switches on when we move. This happens largely because the part of the brain that controls our sense of balance is directly connected to the part of the brain that control our alertness.
Try balancing activities such as leaning from side to side, standing on one foot or turning around in a circle. As simple (or foolish) as that sounds, it turns on the brain and makes you more alert!
Cross lateral movements are excellent because they get your whole brain firing at once! Cross lateral movements are movements in which the brain has to coordinate the use of both hemispheres. One example of cross lateral movement is touching your elbow, knee or foot with the opposite hand.
One of my favorite cross lateral activities is writing with both hands simultaneously. Your dominant hand writes normally, while your non-dominant hand writes in mirror writing! It takes the coordinated use of both eyes, hands and hemispheres of the brain to accomplish simultaneous mirror writing.
Vigorous exercise is as effective as ADHD medication for controlling ADHD symptoms. It has the added benefits of improving your health and increasing your quality of life. Find something that you are passionate about doing, particularly if the activity involves social interaction. This can be team sports or social activities with an exercise component. Examples of social activities that include exercise include playing with your children, dancing, or walking your dog.
Mindfulness has been proven to change your brain, promoting better attention skills. Those who make mindfulness a regular part of their lives can look forward to a greater ability to resist distractions. Taking a quick mindfulness break during the day can center you and promote greater self-regulation.
Here I’m talking about snacking on foods that wake up the nervous system! Crunchy foods such as carrots and celery are great. Sour foods such as lemons, and spicy foods such as cinnamon put your body into a more alert and productive state.
Stretching allows the muscles to release built up waste products and clear your nervous system. This reduces muscular fatigue, allowing you to concentrate for longer periods. Take a short stretching break regularly and you’ll work more productively and comfortably.
Desktop dopamine dosers
The most important brain chemical responsible for focus and alertness is dopamine. Dopamine is released during pleasurable activities. Try keeping objects in your work environment that remind you of your family, your successes and your dreams. Place objects in your work station that are your favorite color or include inspirational quotes. They will revitalize you and give you a quick “break” in your work day! I use desktop dopamine dosers throughout the day to make my work go smoother and to just have a better time!
Changing the task
There comes a point of “no return” when try as you will, you just can’t think about something anymore! Then it’s time to switch to another activity. Keeping yourself at the peak of performance throughout the day will ultimately lead to better productivity and is a great time management tip!
Another time management tip – take control of the timing of your “breaks”
The maximum amount of time the human brain can focus is approximately twenty minutes. This is just an average, so you may be able to focus for a shorter or longer period of time. Once your focus begins to fade, your productivity and quality of work begins to decline as well.
Another thing to be aware of is the length of the “break” you need in order to refresh yourself. Everybody has an optimum time of day. Breaks taken during your optimum time of day can be shorter because you are naturally more focused and productive then. At other times of the day, breaks may need to be longer in order to refresh you.
Since the variety of activities that create a “break” that refreshes you can take many forms, “breaks” may last from several seconds to ten or more minutes.
Desktop dopamine doser breaks can revitalize you in ten seconds but you’ll need to repeat them frequently. On the other hand, engaging in vigorous exercise for more than thirty minutes can give your system an alertness boost for hours afterwards.
Another way to manage your time and productivity is to vary the duration of your breaks based on the length of the previous break. For example, if your last break was five-minutes in length, you may need to break for seven to ten minutes next time.
Strategically taking control of the type and amount of “breaks” you take during your working periods will allow you to accomplish more every day. The best time management tips involve strategies that not only increase your productivity, but are also enjoyable. Choose the type of activities that revitalize your body, your mind and your heart, and you’ll be a productivity superstar!
Want some other great tips for getting a handle on “boring” and “annoying” tasks so you can get control of your time and feel good about how much you accomplish? Download my free guide for better attention and concentration skills.
ADHD coach and board certified educational therapist. Dr. Kari, helps women conquer their biggest ADHD challenges. She assists women in getting focused, organized, and motivated. She helps them get unstuck, finish what they start, and accomplish more every day!
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