Now that we know how brain works, then how can we boost our work performance by using brain science?
Rule #1. Limit the real ‘focus time’ to 20 mins: work on ONE single task for no more than 20 mins, then take a 5-10 mins break by doing NOTHING.
This principle sounds easy but when I coach my clients, almost every one of them said it was difficult (impossible) to do in the beginning! Why?
There are a few extra steps you need to do to implement this principle to boost your performance. First, you can only work on ONE thing during the 20-min period. This means that if you are writing a journal paper or a business proposal, then you only do that task in that 20 mins. During that time, you CANNOT check emails, NOT call your friends on the phone, NOT check Facebook or talk to someone else. Remember that your brain will ‘naturally’ bring you away from your work and seek novelty (whatever new and different from what you are doing), so you need a bit training on maintaining this attention capacity.
Second, this 20-min focus must be followed by a 5-10 mins break by doing NOTHING; I mean really nothing! So, what do you do during the break? You can sit back and relax. Listening to your music is a good idea because each song last for around 3-5 mins. This means that you can listen to two songs. During the break, you CANNOT do anything that requires your brain power. For example, checking your emails, check Facebook or surfing the net are big NoNo!
The best thing I like to do during the break is to make a cup of tea and look at the scene outside my window while enjoying my tea or coffee. By doing this, you get a real break for your brain (slow down your CPU), relax your eyes and also get yourself truly enjoying the aroma and taste of your tea or coffee! If you work from home, then you can do your laundry, turn on your vacuum robot, or just wash a few dishes or cups during this break. One stone and two birds!
I will reveal other principles of boosting your performance in following blogs. See you next time and enjoy your break!.
Dr. C. Richard Wu @ REEAConsulting.com
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