I sit at my computer and begin a task, e-mail, research for a patient, chart notes, preparing a custom care plan for a patient, and I start to think about other things that I need to do. I look at the many to-do lists that I have written and I am proud of all the cross-outs I have telling me I have accomplished something. So many things are going on at once. Wow, I must be a great multi-tasker. However, it happens several times a day that I walk into a room and I can’t remember what it is that I have to get or I go to do a google search and I can’t recall what I need to look up. This terrifies me and my mid-fortysomething brain!

 Multi-tasking does not work!!

5 Ways to support your brain so you can accomplish more and feel more productive:

1.     Use focused blocks of time. Block out 60-minute time periods. It could be the first thing in the morning or whenever you need it. Do at least 2 per day. Use this time to focus on one thing. If we get distracted we need 15 minutes to get back on task. Brain fatigues after 60-90 minutes so take a 15 minute break when it is needed.

2.     Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep restores, rejuvenates and recharges the body.

3.     Nap. 20 minutes of sleep in the middle of the day can make difference

4.     Remove distractions. Turn off phone/internet/e-mail/. Put devices in Airplane mode. Check your e-mail at set times of the day.

5.     Take a walk in nature or look at photos of nature. Studies show that people who spend time in nature or look at photos of nature are more productive.

Sean E. Heerey ND, MA, CCC/SLP