Humans have a unique ability to memorize a task and performing it in the future from a sort of autopilot mode; once we are comfortable with a task, we tend to use our muscle memory more often and our brainless often to accomplish it. This passive autopilot state leads to boredom, a lack of engagement, and sometimes even laziness.
It is important that you keep a sharp mind, not only for health purposes but also because it is an effective way to ramp up your workday, as well as your work performance. Coming up with a couple of daily activities that can comfortably be completed in your office is the start to a sharper mind and more engagement in the workplace. Here are some ideas for ways to sharpen your mind in the workplace:
- Discover your peak productivity hours and schedule your top priority tasks during these time periods.
- Change up your routine—but not so much that it hinders productivity.
- Dabble in different social groups to get a feel of others’ work habits and engagement techniques.
- Try to learn a new work-related skill.
- Use your coffee breaks for reading, crosswords, or games such as Sudoku.
- Organize your workspace.
- Multitask with two senses at once—listening to music while working with your hands, etc.—because it helps the brain form new pathways and work better, according to Dr. Schwartz of the neuroscience department at the University of Texas.
Your brain is your most important tool; if you keep it in good shape, your performance will follow suit. Next time you catch yourself with a free minute, try one of these stimulating tasks—or any other ones you can come up with yourself.