'It's just one of those days'. 'I can't seem to concentrate'. 'I'm always tired'. Yes, we all go through periods of unproductivity and lack of focus, and it's easy to blame yourself for it - but what if we told you that some of main culprits for those niggling feelings can be found right in your home?
Explore our roundup of the usual suspects, plus tips on how to protect yourself from their negative effects (without throwing your beloved possessions out of the window in a fit of rage, that is!).
The age-old saying: tidy home, tidy mind springs to mind here. Similar to what multi-tasking does to your brain, physical clutter overloads your senses, making you feel stressed, and impairs your ability to think creatively. Our tip? Keep a maximum of five essentials on your home office desk - choose wisely...
Ah, the dreaded afternoon slump (we hate you!). Apparently your lighting plays a huge role in it. Research reveals that people who work in natural light (verses just overhead lighting) sleep more at night - making them less likely to feel tired come the afternoon. Break up your day by spending mornings working in natural light and the evenings next to a warmly-lit desk lamp.
The same reason you should make your bedroom walls blue is why you shouldn't paint the rest of your house this colour – studies have found that blue walls help slow down your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure, and make you feel sleepy. In other words: goodbye, to-do list. Keep this in mind next time you're redecorating...
Although unhealthy snacks may be a quick fix for the desk munchies, you'll quickly regret it. Foods loaded with sugar and simple carbs rank high on the glycaemic index (GI) – and constant blood sugar spikes followed by sharp drops cause fatigue throughout the day. Try swapping a soft drink for a refreshing peppermint tea, and a packet of crisps for a handful of mixed nuts.
An obvious choice when it comes to distractions, but did you know that your favourite gadget may be one of the causes of mid-afternoon slumps too? According to recent research, the blue light emitted from smartphone and tablets interferes with your zzz's when in use late at night. And a consistently interrupted sleep pattern = a serious lack of productivity. So, switch off before bed and keep your gadgets in a different room when you're working – good luck!
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