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Take a Break

Guest Blog from Jackie Scruton

How many times during our working lives have we grabbed lunch on the go and in doing so not really given ourselves a break from the rigours of our work?

Researchers at the Paris Brain Institute have discovered that the brain slows down to deal with prolonged focus if it does not get a suitable break. On an individual level, this can mean when we get home from work we are too tired to do anything other than maybe curl up on the sofa before bed.

It seems the cause of this is similar to a build-up of lactic acid in our muscles when we exercise. The brain produces a neuron called Glutamate that helps you to stay focused on a task. It seems that the more you push yourself to focus on a task, the more the glutamate builds up, with the potential to make you feel exhausted and the potential to make poor decisions.

This study comes on the back of 2020 lockdown and subsequent changes to our working patterns. During the pandemic, we all seemed to keep putting one step in front of the other and maybe didn’t have time to ‘take a break’ or adjust to our new situation.

How then can we help ourselves to avoid the feeling of exhaustion and hard decision making? One way is to try and undertake your ‘difficult’ tasks at the start of the. Another is to allow yourself to ‘day dream’ or zone out, in reality, this means taking time away from your phone and computer. A short walk around your local area, just you and nature. Another thing to try is to read a chapter of a novel or listening to music. In essence, try and step away from your desk at some point every day.

Thanks to Jackie Scruton for this reminder to take a break. If you find it difficult to get started on difficult tasks at the beginning of the day, have a listen to our webinar, Procrastination- Frustration!

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