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Brain productivity – what happens when we lose focus

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Everyone has experienced moments when we lose our focus and suddenly forget what we we’re doing. No matter what we do, be it in our office doing work, in the restaurant having a conversation with friends, or doing chores through the house, distractions are everywhere and our brain reacts quickly to them.

According to new researchdistractions make our brains flush out what we were previously thinking of. This reaction is important, as it acts as a trigger for when we are faced with dangerous situations. However, today, when everyone is concentrated on building a successful career, suffering from frequent focus loss can heavily alter your work, making us less productive.

But don’t fret, there are ways to help us sharpen our brains, in order to be more focused and productive.

1. Practice meditation

Meditation trains the brain to stay focused for a longer period of time. By practicing meditation, your brain will let those distractions pass by without reacting to or engaging them. As such, your brain will be more productive when doing work-related tasks.


2. Put your electronic devices in silent mode or shut them down

Having a text message or other social media notifications pop up will distract your brain to go back and forth from your office-task to your phone. This will definitely decrease productivity.

So, in order to make sure your brain stays focused, clear out external distractions, by putting your cellphone or other electronic devices in silent mode or simply shutting them down completely.

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3. Close your door

A.J. Marsden, Assistant Professor of Human Services and Psychology at Beacon College, says that workplace distractions can have a negative impact on your productivity rates, such as increasing the chance of making mistakes by twice the normal amount, doubling your anxiety, and delaying task completion time by up to 27% more of the normal time to complete a task.

To avoid this, employees should simply close the door. Another way you can channel out office distractions is to wear headphones, if your workplace allows it.


4. Have several short breaks

According to Marsden, performance starts to become lacking after you have worked for about 50 to 60 minutes, and it only goes downhill from that point.

However, you can counteract this by talking short breaks every 40 minutes. In doing so, the brain can maintain its focus without experiencing quality losses.


5. Do not multitask

Multitasking decreases the brain’s ability to quickly process tasks and send out messages to other parts of the body. According to Marsden, our brain can store from 5, up to 9 short term memories.

In other words, it would be quite difficult to do many different sets of tasks all at once. She also states that multitasking decreases concentration by up to 40%, which in the end influences our work productivity.


6. Delete internal distractions

The nagging feeling of having to finish tasks creates distractions for our brain. Therefore, it is suggested to write down a to-do list, highlighting the most important tasks. This allows employees to prioritize and focus on doing one task at a time, according to its importance.

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