After periods of being sedentary, the systems of the body begin to slow, including brain function. This may result in “brain fog” where it seems more difficult than it should be to concentrate, think critically, and respond accurately to a question or problem.
Overworking and multi-tasking can also lead to a cloudy head. One of the best ways to rid yourself of brain fog is to not overwork yourself in one and moment, and focus on one task at hand.
Set aside time to check you emails and respond in batches. Instead of having e-mails pile up that you read and respond to in your head, but physically don’t take action, get to cracking. Respond during your time set aside for e-mail and wipe it off your to-do list. Schedule non-e-mail time where you work on projects without distraction. This may be for just 20 minutes, but being able to focus on one activity at a time will help you be more effective and efficient.
Another thing to schedule into your day is movement. Moving muscles pumps fresh oxygen-carrying blood to the brain. Small, frequent amounts of movement have been shown to improve blood markers for type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Short activity has been shown to help clear some of the inflammatory products from the body and reduce the risk of weight gain that can be a side effect of inflammation. Additionally, more physical movement will burn more calories. Turn meetings into walking meetings, either getting outside (weather-permitting) or moving throughout the office. Associate a work action with an extra physical movement. I.e. every time you have to e-mail a certain colleague, you do 5 squats at your desk.
Set an alarm on your phone or your computer to stand up and take a short break every hour. Computer apps that help with scheduled breaks include Eyeleo, Workrave, Big Stretch Reminder, Awareness, and EVO. Some focus on eye exercises and eye breaks, while others alternate between gross muscle stretches, smaller movements, and breath work.
Phone apps that are free for Apple products are Move Daily Activity to Stay Healthy and Stand Up! The Work Break Timer. Android users can try out Randomly Remind Me.
Exercise boosts the brain’s cognitive flexibility, allowing you to be more capable of handling analytical thinking, and new, creative tasks. Additionally, physical training keeps your brain sharp and allows you to maintain or even increase your balance and muscular flexibility.