10 tricks from a neurologist to give the brain a break and boost work efficiency

Often the jobs that people are forced to do to earn a living involve an effort that our bodies not ready to play regularly.

It is important to find a way to meet these demands that involves the least possible compromise for our health physical, cognitive and mental, thus avoiding problems such as burnout syndrome. We are going to review some tips offered by neurologist Paul Zak, director of the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies at Claremont Graduate University (USA).

Physical activity

The physical activitya is simply the most important factor in good neurological functioning. Doing it early in the day also has great benefits: it speeds up the heart rate and oxygenates the brain, which improves concentration and problem solving.


Another great enemy of optimal performance and concentration is the stress, so it becomes vital to know effective strategies to combat it. One of them is meditation, whose benefits in this sense are well established.

Start with critical tasks

Zak argues that often alert levels they are bigger in the early morning, but it is nevertheless very common to fill this niche with morning routines and organizational meetings. For this reason, he advises devoting the first 90 minutes to the most important tasks of the day.

Divide the activity into 20 minute blocks

The human brain has a hard time keeping its attention fixed on something for long periods of time, so it’s best to try to break up works into blocks of 20 minutes. At the end of each, it is beneficial to switch tasks or take a short break.

Space is important for a good meditation practice.

give yourself breaks

To allow to brain rest it is essential to avoid saturation and improve performance. Zak thinks 10 minutes is ideal, but even taking a minute off screen (and raising your legs so blood flow is diverted to your head) is beneficial.

Host meetings on the go

Walking during meetings not only boosts circulation and heart rate, but also, by making us less comfortable than sitting, encourages us to focus on the important aspects and waste no time with details.

Set times to check emails

Being constantly attentive to emails entering our mailbox can be a very big distraction. Instead, it is better check several times a dayand send multiple emails at once.

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Have a coffee after lunch

Naturally, eating causes drowsiness and fatigue, because our body must concentrate part of its energy resources on carrying out digestion. For him, ingest caffeine immediatelythanks to its stimulating effect, can counteract this fatigue.

Connect with your peers

Have a good relationship with colleagues helps in the office to reduce stress and increase motivation, while making the day more pleasant. A healthy work environment is one of the best ways to avoid burnout.

Respect your personal time

For our mental health, it is vital have time to spend with ourselves ourselves, to relax and develop our personality.

Mental well-being is reduced when you experience stressful situations at work too often.


Arianne Cohen. How neuroscientists are using brain breaks to boost creativity at work. Bloomberg (2022). Retrieved online from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-22/how-to-take-brain-breaks-and-boost-creativity-at-work? on 07/10/2022.


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