There are so many things that people say will boost your performance at work. And I am not talking about your ability to get up to the seventh floor quicker than anyone else in the office (although that might add a few extra seconds of work-time to your day). I am talking about the thing that really matters. That is, your mental performance or your cognitive ability. Especially your ability to problem solve, prioritise, focus and make decisions
Some things seem to make sense, but we don’t have absolute proof (like drinking water, which might boost attention but not necessarily cognitive ability). Others are contingent on how you manage them (planning your time works, but it is dependent on how good your planning system is).
But here are some things that have been shown time and again to boost our mental powers:
1) Exercise – short bursts of aerobic exercise re-oxygenates the brain and provides vital fuel for problem-solving and decision-making
2) Sleep – a 20 minute sleep can boost cognitive performance by as much as 20-30%. Upgrade this to 40 minutes and the boost can last almost three hours
3) Caffeine – a wonderful discovery that just gives us another excuse for a coffee break. Caffeine increases some of the chemicals that increase attention
4) Glucose drinks – but before you run off to the kitchen and make yourself a cordial, this might only be a short-term fix as the insulin rebound may hamper performance in an hour or two
5) Bigger computer screens – I keep reading that this works, but am completely unsure of the mechanism. However, there is just too much evidence to ignore it.