Have you ever had one of those days where you had all the tools and time to be productive, but your brain just wouldn’t cooperate? Unfortunately, we aren’t wired to just sit down at our desks and function at 100% capacity all the time. The things you do in your downtime can actually make a big difference in your mental capacity during the workday.
- Recharge your brain with restful sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain simply can’t function at its full capacity. Prioritizing sleep can make a huge difference in your performance at work. Determine how many hours your body needs (it’s a little different for everyone) and make sure you’re in bed by a reasonable time to get those hours under your belt every night.
- Take breaks. Humans aren’t machines, and we can’t work nonstop for eight hours and maintain the same level of efficiency. Instead, taking short breaks will help prevent burnout and keep you focused. The Pomodoro Technique is a popular way to structure breaks for maximum productivity: Take a short breather every 25 minutes, and a longer break every four cycles.
- Protect yourself from distractions. Can you close your office door when it’s time to focus down? Do you have noise canceling headphones to keep you in the zone? Do you know how to put your phone on “do not disturb” mode? Ignoring distractions requires mental energy, so protecting yourself from those distractions can prevent that drain.
Your brain is your most important tool for productivity — so make sure to treat it right!