WARNING: The contents of this article may be distracting. That’s OK. This time, it’s a constructive distraction. Today, we live in an age of distractions and multitasking—toggling and juggling work, home and doggie day care live video streams (admit it). In spite of our best efforts to focus, a text message chime or computer ping will take us away from our work, and it will be any length of time before we can ride that thought train again.
Fans of multi-tasking believe it increases productivity—but does it really? It may allow you to stir the pot of several projects and processes at one time, but whether it is more productive or not is still open for discussion. And, with distraction comes risk. Lack of dedicated attention can lead to error, confusion and even injury.
Your brain needs a break.
Distraction isn’t always a bad thing. The right distraction could actually make you more creative, effective and productive. If you find you can’t find inspiration, here are three positive distractions to try when your momentum slows to a crawl:
- Get some exercise.
Take a walk. Drop in on a yoga class. Or find an exercise video online. Research shows that regular exercise boosts the regeneration of brain cells and counteracts the natural slowdown that occurs as we age.
- Take a moment to meditate.
Stress zaps productivity—but meditation zaps stress. Plus, it’s less sweaty than exercise.
- Watch a puppy cam.
Believe it or not—it works. A Japanese researcher found that looking at pictures of baby animals affected motivation and processing, making study participants more productive.
So the next time you catch your employees oohing and aahing over a puppy video, taking the scenic tour around the office building or on the floor in the lotus pose, take a minute to join in and make distraction an advantage.
Get the The Distraction Issue here.
In this issue of The Next Desk, we’re shutting off all of our technology, taking out the earbuds and focusing on the subject of distractions in the modern workplace. Throughout this issue, you’ll find great, shareable material that will have you laughing while you learn. So go ahead, creative a little (positive) distraction of your own.
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