Try a few of these moves for a quick hit of productivity.
By Abi Carver (Founder, Yoga 15)
“You get more accomplished by working intensely for short periods and then refueling than you do by working continuously over a long period of time. ” — Tony Schwartz, The Rhythm of Great Performance
The research shows that we can only concentrate for a limited amount of time before we become fatigued and the quality of our work is affected. At a certain point, we become increasingly vulnerable to distractions and defenceless against the siren call of social media and celebrity gossip.
One way to boost your productivity and re-focus your attention is to learn from professional athletes and approach your work day like a high intensity interval training session. The most effective way to strengthen your cardiovascular system is to subject it to high stress followed by a period of recovery and increasing your mental stamina works on the same principle. Eliminate distractions and fully immerse yourself in a single task for 90 minutes. Then, just as you find yourself running out of steam, disengage your conscious mind from the problem and take a break to replenish your cognitive energy.
The key with these intermittent renewal breaks is to avoid the temptation to recharge with powerful stimulants like sugar, caffeine and nicotine that will send you hurtling towards burnout. Unfortunately, these substances, far from revitalising you, put you in a restoration debt that at some stage you inevitably have to pay off.
If you’ve only got a few minutes, you certainly have time to squeeze in:
- A few minutes of meditation
- A conscious breathing exercise
- A walk outside in nature
- A couple of pages of a novel
- A nap
- Some bodyweight exercises like squats and push-ups
- Dancing to your favorite song (or even just listening to it)
- Painting a picture
- Talking to a friend
- Eat a healthy snack
Or, you could do one or all of these super short yoga moves!
Seated Mobility Exercises
Seated Neck & Shoulder Stretches
Standing Upper Body Stretches
Body Scan Meditation
Please let me know how you get on in the comments below. And share this article with anyone you think could do with some office yoga inspiration.
About the guest blogger: Abi Carver is the founder of Yoga 15, an iPhone app with 120 yoga videos that are 15-minutes long, skills-based and follow a clear progression. There are workouts for building strength, increasing flexibility, improving balance, alleviating pain, relieving stress and boosting cognitive performance. The app is free to download at www.yoga15.com.