Ruislip & Eastcote & Northwood Gazette
JAMES MOORE reveals all manner of ways to pep up your performance
IF YOU thought endless cups of coffee were the only way to help boost concentration and focus, think again...
Juice the job
Have a glass of orange juice with breakfast. A study by the University of Reading showed it could improve alertness and concentration. The effect has been linked to flavonoids in the fruit.
Put a peace lily on your workstation. A Dutch study found that indoor plants increase concentration levels, while research at Exeter University found greenery in the workplace was linked to improved productivity and boosted staff wellbeing by 47%.
Scientists at the University of Leicester discovered that more than half of people using standing desks felt more engaged at work after a year of using them.
Experts at Cardiff University revealed that people who chewed gum during a memory task were able to focus for longer compared to those who didn’t. Further research has shown that the activity increases blood flow to the brain.
A Northumbria University study found flavanols in good quality dark chocolate meant arithmetic wasn’t as taxing – and those in the trial were less likely to feel tired or mentally drained.
A good night’s sleep will help you stay energized the next day, but experts at Harvard University in the US say it is just as important to keep a regular bedtime. Changing the time you head for a kip could be as damaging as jet lag from a flight.
Putting a picture of your dog or cat close by could improve your concentration by 5%, a Japanese study found. If they are puppies or kittens that figure goes up to 10%.
Do some exercise during your break. One study found that walking for half an hour at lunchtime improves enthusiasm and relaxation. A five-minute walk every hour was found to reduce food cravings.
A study reported in the journal Clinical Neurophysiology says the combination of washing your face and drinking a coffee could boost how alert the coffee makes you feel.
Eating two kiwi fruits can improve mood and energy, a study by the University of Otago, New Zealand shows. It’s thought vitamin C is key.
Make a note
If you’re allowed to listen to music at work, stick on some pop music. Research by Mindlab International found 58% of people were faster at data entry while doing so. Listening to classical can help memory recall, according to a US study.
Struggling to complete tasks without distraction? Doodling at work could help you to stay focused. Scientists at Plymouth University found that it helps you concentrate on information. One example of this was doodlers could recall names and places 29% better than people who were not doodling.
Load up your plate with some leafy greens. Research published in the journal Neurology indicates that people who ate two portions of the stuff daily were typically able to focus on tasks as well as people five years younger than them.
Hide your phone. Using social media during working hours is a serious distraction and can reduce work performance and concentration, according to research by the University of Bergen in Norway. Stick the phone in a drawer so it’s out of sight, out of mind.
Two-thirds of workers say showing their emotions at work – whether by crying or having a laugh – makes them more productive, according to a survey carried out by LinkedIn.