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Learn the secrets of successful solo-tasking

Updated: Saturday, Jul 09,2016, 2:33:13 PM
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However busy you may be, there’s always (really!) time to take a moment, focus on yourself and reset – whether it’s for a couple of hours or just five minutes. Here are our six top ways to take some all-important me-time, whatever your schedule looks like.

1 Find your ‘golden time’
That’s the two or three hours a day when you’re at your best – for many, it’s first thing. Commit to solo-tasking on your most important project for at least an hour during this time, before tackling the rest of your to-do list.

2 Walk in the park (or the forest)
According to attention restoration theory (ART), spending time in nature recharges your focus.

3 Use a kitchen timer during solo-task time
It’s easier to knuckle down and concentrate when we know time is limited. Most people can concentrate for up to around 90 minutes before their minds really wander.

4 Bring back daydreaming
Resist the urge to fill down-time and do some people – or cloud watching – instead. Letting your mind wander, also known as ‘involuntary attention’, is thought to give the parts of the brain associated with ‘directed attention’ a chance to refresh.

5 Meditate before work
It improves the brain’s ability to filter out distractions and focus for longer, according to research from the University of Washington. The Simply Being – Guided Meditation app can get you started.

6 Ban multi-screening
A study from the University of Sussex found an area of the brain known as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is smaller in people who regularly use more than one screen at the same time. The ACC regulates emotions and is involved in decision making, reasoning, impulse control and empathy. So put down your smartphone. And your tablet.

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