Is your working day packed with a dozen urgent tasks, all vying for your attention? If so, you’re not alone. Most of us have repeated demands on our time and energy during the course of a normal day, and making a sustained effort to concentrate for long periods can lead to us become less rather than more productive.
As humans, we’re designed to operate at maximum capacity under short, sharp periods of stress (running away from predators or hunting, for example), followed by long periods of downtime. Modern life often forces us to operate in exactly the opposite way, which is exhausting both especially and mentally.
New research suggests that there’s a good reason we sometimes find it so hard to concentrate. Sustained focus involves using our frontal cortex, which requires more energy than other regions of our brain. If you continue to try and force concentration, eventually your brain will flip into ‘daydreaming mode’ to take a break.
If you’re under pressure, then deliberately stopping work for a little while may feel counter intuitive. There’s a lot of research to support the theory that doing something completely different for a while can actually increase productivity, though.
What you choose to do depends on how much time you have available. Exercise is a always a good option, offering the twin benefits of distraction and physical activity. If time doesn’t allow, then try chatting with coworkers (preferably on a different floor so you have to walk down the stairs!), or filling in a crossword or sudoku puzzle. If you can only spare a few minutes, then the most efficient thing you can do is make a cup of coffee. Not only will the ritual of filling the kettle and making the brew help to give you a break, but the caffeine itself helps improve reaction time, memory and attention span in the short term.
Here at the Wholesale Coffee Company, we’ve got everything you need for your office, cafe or commercial hospitality business. To browse our range of coffee beans and accessories, take a look at our main website at www.wholesalecoffeecompany.co.uk.