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When distractions can be a good thing ...
How would you like a productivity tool that can increase both the quality of your work and the sheer volume of your work?
Mark Waldman and Andrew Newberg, MD, suggest that we try a little targeted distraction to increase productivity as well as creativity.
According to Waldman and Newberg, authors of several books, including Words Can Change Your Brain and How God Changes Your Brain, a well-timed distraction strategy can actually improve your productivity and your creativity.
These are the steps that Waldman and Newberg suggest* for distracting yourself to success:
1. Begin working on your project. Engage fully and deeply until you lose track of time, lose yourself and find youself in the flow.
2. As soon as you feel signs of stress (usually 20-50 minutes after you hit the "flow"), stop.
3. Immediately begin to stretch and yawn. Gently stroke your arms and face which causes your body to release the chemical oxytocin.
4. Run in place as fast as you can for 30 - 60 seconds. You can also dance wildly, which is my personal choice. This wakes up the brain. As well as anyone in the next room.
5. For the next minute, focus on your breath while repeating a word or phrase that resonates with you, such as "Love" "Joy" "Abundance" "Gratitude" or "Peace".
6. Now return to work and start the sequence again.
The sequence may sound a little odd (Yawn, stroke your face, run in place, breathe a mantra). Remember that Waldman and Newberg do neuroscientific research and are experts on the subject of the brain.
These steps are designed to release dopamine, opiates, and endocannabinoids, which can help you with motivation.
A little extra motivation can be the start of many wonderful things. Try this strategy to help you increase personal productivity.
Science of Mind, April 2013 - Distract Your Way to Success by Mark Waldman and Andrew Newber, MD
Harvard Business Review, Nov 2005 - Are You Working Too Hard? A Conversation with Herbert Benson
*Science of Mind, April 2013
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