Some days my brain actually hurts from data overload. I stare at my computer waiting for a brilliant idea to surface, or trying to come up with a solution for a sales challenge. The more I try to focus on the issues at hand, the more my eyes cross and the more my head hurts. And then, da da da (spoken in an ominous voice), my office starts to darken as the walls move in on me.
So what’s a girl to do when the “cave effect” starts to take hold? Oftentimes I’ll just sit back and try to imagine warm sunshine, and breezes blowing through the windows. I’ll turn on some music to try to soothe my tired mind. Some days it works, but days like today… well, not so much.
It’s time for a movement break – one that reignites my brain. I’ll stand up, move away from the desk and get my body in motion. If it’s a nice day, I’ll just walk around the yard for 5-10 minutes. I don’t even think about the work… I just need to focus on the elements. If it’s a lousy day – like today – I’ll walk around the house. Or put on a jacket and get outside. The key is to step away and breathe. Change your environment, even for a few minutes.
So why does this brain coma happen some days and not others? Science has shown that we can’t perform at our optimal level all day, every day in a stagnant environment. Various research studies show that an hour or hour and a half is the max it can handle focusing on one thing. Brain freeze is most likely to settle in at this point. Your inner self is screaming “take a break” – and the best break is movement…especially the kind that allows your mind to wander. When your mind wanders, it doesn’t stop working – it’s like the apps on your smart phone – thoughts and ideas are still processing in the background, even when you are not focusing on the issues at hand. Your brain is still searching for possible answers, options or ideas. It’s important to “double-tap and swipe those apps closed” – even if it’s just for a few minutes.
As a sales person, you are lucky! Our expectation is that you push back from your desk and get out of the hotel. Who knew that making sales calls was good for you? Physical activity increases the blood flow to the brain – which triggers a flood of good brain activity. Your problem-solving capacity improves, your ability to think on your feet gets better, your long-term memory is exercised, your ability to concentrate is enhanced, and so is your reasoning ability. Just move! Just get out of the hotel and do your job!
Happy de-cluttering your brain!