How to Streamline Your Morning Work Performance
By Sandy Schroeder
Most of us arrive at work with the best of intentions, but often quickly lose our focus in a blur of distractions. Neuroscientist Tara Swart gives us a few tips in Fast Company to boost the brain between breakfast and lunch.
Make 8 Hours of Sleep a Must
The American Sleep Association says the average American is getting about 6 hours, 40 minutes each night, instead of the 7 to 9 hours that they need. This shortage can sabotage the brain’s control of mood, alertness, appetite and overall resilience, which can easily play out in job performance. Target 7 to 9 hours and keep working on it until you get it.
Stretch Your Circulation to Wake Up Your Brain
Take just a few minutes to do a few yoga poses to increase the flow of blood to the brain. Any upside down pose will work. Lying on your mat with legs up the side of the wall will improve circulation and redistribute nutrients as it wakes up the brain.
Eat Similar High Energy Breakfasts Each Morning
Get serious about giving your brain the sustained energy needed for your most demanding projects every morning. Pick berries, seeds, eggs, avocado, salmon or nuts, and avoid white breads, sugary cereals or pastries. Eat a high energy breakfast at the same time each morning to set your body clock for the best rhythm and digestion. Your brain will take it from there.
Get Hydrated When You Get Up
Let that caffeine fix wait and begin with a glass of water or a mug of lemon and warm water. Or you can try a cup of turmeric tea to boost your focus and memory. Starting with an espresso first in the morning can act as a diuretic, pushing your body farther toward dehydration.
Meditate to Sharpen the Mind
The U.S. Marines completed a volunteer study that showed mental toughness could be increased in just 12 minutes. Devise a simple mindfulness meditation that works for you. Find a quiet spot and let your mind watch your thoughts without judging them as they roll by. Later you may find your brain is moving faster and solving problems better.
Tackle Your Toughest Assignments First
Your brain energy operates at its peak in the morning. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin take a natural 24-hour dive at around 3 p.m. Set up challenging meetings or complicated tasks early in the day to consistently get the best results.
As you try these brain-boosting morning changes, see how they suit you. Note the ones that help you think better and keep right on going.
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