Whether you’re a college student studying for an exam or an exec putting the finishing touches on a major work project, you’re likely going to feel stressed or burnt out at one point or another. While you may be able to push through these feelings of exasperation most of the time, it is not always so easy. Here are a few simple methods to help you clear up your mental block and boost your brain power:
1. Listen to music
If you’re looking to boost productivity or escape the noise in your office space, put in some headphones and turn on your favorite uptempo music. Studies show that upbeat music lowers your perception of tension, increases your heart rate and respiration and, in turn, improves your mood.
2. Break your usual routine
If you feel like you’ve been stuck in a rut as of late, make an effort to break out of your humdrum routine. Make a small change, like working from that new coffee shop you’ve been wanting to visit. Or try switching up elements of your morning routine by brushing your teeth with your nondominant hand, jogging backwards, or anything else that challenges you to do something out of the ordinary.
3. Force yourself to unwind
Meditation has been proven time and time again to be the most effective method of boosting productivity. Why? Because it forces you to take a break, sit still and breathe deeply — all of which reduce stress, replenish the attention span, promote creativity, and result in increased productivity. Try to squeeze at least two mini-meditation breaks into your schedule to keep yourself alert and ready to tackle whatever problems are thrown your way.
4. Organize your workspace
Nothing hinders productivity more than a cluttered or messy desk. Start by clearing out any trash or useless papers, then prioritize your other paperwork by importance — keeping all urgent items in your line of sight and filing away the rest. This small task takes a maximum of 5 minutes and leaves you with a renewed sense of motivation.
5. Eat with your brain in mind
Omega-3s, leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, apples, and eggs are just a few foods that have been proven to boost brain power. The effects of incorporating one or more of these foods into your diet range from improved memory, increased alertness, and greater protection from diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer.
6. Stay hydrated
Seeing as the brain is made of 80 percent water, it should come as no surprise that our brain cells do not function as efficiently when we’re dehydrated. So resist the urge to brew that fourth or fifth cup of coffee and reach for a tall glass of water instead; you won’t be disappointed by the results.