Ever find your brain functioning at such a jumbled capacity that it's like looking at a computer with 1,000 internet tabs open at the same time?
When your thoughts become too much to handle and you can't seem to focus, you lack the ability to make good decisions, or any decision at all. That's how I've been feeling this week. I've been getting things done, but there's a lot of inactivity and stagnant waters upstairs that's causing everything to take longer than usual. Even writing this blog was strenuous.
Whether you're having an off day, week or fortnight, don't let it get you down. It's just your brain's way of asking you to change it up. So, what should you do instead of using your brain?
USE YOUR BODY
Try stepping up your exercise routine to include 2-3 more workouts per week. If your routine is already packed, add some variety instead. This can be good to get you out of your head and it doubles as a mechanism to get you back into your head. Exercise increases blood flow, which circulates oxygen and increases cellular growth and turnover, giving your body a fresh feeling and your brain the power to be more focused and dynamic.
CHANGE YOUR SETTING
There's comfort in consistency, but your brain can get bored of being in the same place all the time. Step out of your comfort zone, whether it be your home or your office, and challenge your senses. Take a walk or ride your bike through a different part of your neighbourhood. Go to a new coffee shop, cafe or shared work space to work from "home". Try a new form of exercise that stimulates different parts of your body. Allowing for different challenges creates new neural pathways in your brain, keeping it alert and focused.
REDIRECT YOUR FOCUS
In the same vein as the last point, instead of focusing on the thing you want to get done that you're unable to make happen, focus on something completely different. If you want to finish a report for work, try reading a novel, doing a puzzle or engaging in a conversation with a friend or coworker about something completely off-topic instead. Re-directing your thoughts can bring you clarity in the areas you need it most. Have you ever noticed your best ideas come to you while you're either on the toilet or in the shower? Enough said.
SLEEP AND SATURATE
Saturate, hydrate. Same diff. You know the drill here, folks. Chances are if you're not focusing it's because you're overworked or stressed. Sleep it off and hydrate often so your stress doesn't get the better of you. Your body regenerates in sleep, yes, but your brain processes the day while you're sleeping, too! If you're lacking on slumber or you're dehydrated, you're not giving your brain and body a chance to detoxify or build, so you'll feel more weak, unfocused and fatigued, taking you away from what you need to do during the day.
WRITE OUT YOUR FRUSTRATIONS
This is by far and away my favourite and most practiced of all tips I'm giving you. Writing my thoughts and frustrations down on paper (notice I didn't say type) allows me to release the thoughts from my head and let them go, freeing up more space in my noggin to get down to business. As much as we may try, we can't disconnect our emotional brain from our logical brain long enough to stay focused sometimes. It's best to give your emotional brain the attention it needs so it can be heard, and then it will let your logical brain take the reins.
There's no need to feel guilty for taking time away from what needs to get done. You can't force something that just isn't working. A lot of good time and energy will be wasted in the process. Just ask the pro - considering all of the above are reasons are why my brain hasn't been functioning at its best this week. But, I incorporated more writing, redirection and change of setting today and found I'm already in a better work flow. Step away and when you're ready, come back to it with a rejuvenated brain you'll accomplish all you want to and more.
Now it's your turn. Try one or try them all! It can't hurt. Be sure to reach out and tell me how well they work for you.