Your Brain Can Only Focus So Much

Everything has a rhythm in life. There’s the cycle of seasons, there’s day and night, there’s high and low tide. Our lungs and heart work to a rhythm, and our digestion moves in waves. So how could our brain be always “on”? Well, it can’t. 

Neuroscientists tell us that our brain needs periods of activity and inactivity, focus and un-focus. During a working day, try a rhythm of 60-70 minutes concentrated effort and 10-15 minutes of letting the mind wander and relax – and you are sure to be more productive than trying to stay 100% focused all the time. 

These moments of un-focus also allow you to become a more creative thinker and problem-solver. Broadly speaking, during a busy working day our brains mostly operate on “beta waves” (brain waves associated with task execution and busy-ness). But this mode is not optimal for coming up with new unexpected solutions. In order to think creatively we want to “reduce” the brain waves to a more relaxed frequency of alpha or theta. Maybe you have experienced how sometimes the best ideas pop up when you’re half asleep, or in a bath, or sitting for meditation – in other words, totally relaxed.

Here are some tips to introduce more relaxation for your mind, to allow your brain to work even better when it’s time to focus again:

Practice meditation or mindfulness.
Patiently training the mind to rest on a focal point such as your breath will help the mind grow quiet over time. As you practice with your eyes closed, the reduced sensory input also supports the relaxation of the mind. Even just a few minutes of quiet sitting and deep breathing recharges your brain. If you prefer some guidance, try a meditation app such as Headspace or Instant Timer.

Try guided relaxation or Yoga Nidra
It can be hard to “tell yourself to relax”. There are tons of guided relaxations in YouTube, and apps such as Calm can help too. Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep”, is a specific guided practice to enter into a deep state of relaxation – trying it as a search term online or in your favorite yoga app.

Save your batteries by doing one thing at a time
This is a no-brainer, but still most of us waste mental energy constantly switching between tasks. Did you know that if you try to do several things at the same time, you end up using 25% more energy to complete each task? Seriously, you don’t want to add 25% to your already busy load! So do one thing at a time, then – before starting with the next one – take a break. 

Would you like your whole team to get inspired, to incorporate well-being moments to their home-working habits? Organize some Happy Hours with us!