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10 smart ways to rise above your boring work pattern

10 smart ways to rise above your boring work pattern

Do you ever feel like your life is dominated by work? It’s boring, you do the same thing everyday, and if it keeps up like this you’re going to quit. This feeling is kryptonite for companies. Appnovation, a company that is growing rapidly, puts it like this: “The ‘revolving door’ syndrome of people in and people out sends shivers down our collective corporate spine. It’s an ‘avoid at all costs’ situation, which erodes the quality of the company.” If the company you work for is worth it, and you have a chance of going somewhere with them, try these ten hacks to help you rise above a boring routine. You’ll be more happy, less depressed, and more ready to make the big changes that will take your life to new and better places.

1. Start the day with exercise

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    Regular exercise is good for your brain. It improves your memory and overall thinking skills by increasing the size of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the region of the brain responsible for verbal memory and learning. Particularly, aerobic exercise does the trick, the kind of exercise that really gets your heart pumping and blood flowing. You’ll find yourself remembering little details at work, especially the conversational details. Improved social skills will improve your overall work performance, too.

    2. Take a different route to and from work

    new-modern-car-dashboard-with-speedometer-and-tachometer-picjumbo-com

      Your brain’s positioning system, your internal GPS, does more than help you find your way around. It also plays a role in memory, providing the abstract, higher-intellect input that helps shape the hippocampus. Taking a different route to work is just one quick way to exercise your brain’s memory-building skill. Try a route you’ve never taken before, one that forces you to find your way through a different part of town. Try it on the way home, too. As you build new landmarks in your brain, your memory and problem-solving skills will improve.

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      3. Hack your desk

      desk

        Yes it would be nice to take an ax to your desk and hack it into firewood. Talk about a way to release anger! But since you can’t exactly do that, there are some things you can do to optimize the use you get out of your desk. Try these simple, awesome desk hacks:

        • Add storage–Create a new desk out of bookshelves and a door, then store essentials on the shelves
        • L-evate–Add a table or other desk to what you’ve got and create an L-shaped station for more workspace
        • Stand it–Studies show excessive sitting is the new smoking; place your monitor on top of a sturdy stack of books or a low stool for a DIY standing desk
        • Personalize–Get creative with knick-knacks and little touches that showcase your personality
        • Get ergonomic–Check out this workspace planning tool to help make your desk more ergonomically friendly

        Nothing is too small when it comes to productive changes. Changing how your desk is set up may just be the difference between good work and awesome work.

        4. Adjust your station’s lighting and colors

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          There is definitely something to be said for the way light and color affect your psyche. Among the many effects light has on you, blue light makes you more alert and productive. Green light, on the other hand, makes you more relaxed, even sleepy. The color blue is also associated with logic, rationality, and alertness. That’s because midday sun with a clear sky lets the most blue through. Evolutionarily speaking, we’re used to getting things done while the sun is high. See what adding a little blue can do for you.

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          5. Talk to someone you’ve never talked to

          talkpeeps

            Of course, this one depends on where you work and how introverted you are. But even if your place of work is small and you’ve talked to everyone, there will still be a point during your workday when you’ll have the chance to talk to someone different. Seize it. Here’s why: being uncertain about your social ranking is bad for your health. It’s not that having a low social ranking is bad. It’s uncertainty that’s unhealthy. Even if you get rejected in your attempt to make conversation, at least you tried, and at least you’re certain of where you stand. The more you try, the more your social horizons will expand.

            6. Eat something different

            salad-healthy-diet-spinach

              Dr. Taylor Krick has a very interesting podcast on how variation in diet is the key to long-term health. If you’re eating the same thing at work everyday, you won’t be healthy in the long-term, especially if you’re eating processed foods. Make a point of going out of your way for variety. Yes this is more expensive. But what better thing to motivate you to make more money than a little extra kick in your diet and a healthier life to boot?

              7. Try a pleasant scent

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                Your olfactory sense–your sense of smell–is connected to emotions and memory. This sense has direct access to the amygdala section of the brain, which processes emotions, and the hippocampus, that good ol’ memory center. Trying a pleasant scent out at work, in the form of a candle, balm, plant, or other agent, basically means creating a new, pleasant work-related memory. Just make sure the scent isn’t one your coworkers hate!

                8. Learn a new word

                word

                  To learn new vocabulary words, you have to use parts of the brain responsible for movement and hearing. So, if you make an effort to learn a new word, that means you exercised these parts of the brain. You wouldn’t normally exercise these parts by just staring at a computer screen. Involve a coworker. Look up a new word and then use it in conversation with them while you’re going to lunch or taking a walk on your break. You’ll be smarter when you get back.

                  9. Take a walk

                  walk

                    Here again, walking is a great way to promote brain health–especially walking in nature. When researchers studied people who walked for 40 minutes, three times a week, the results were similar to aerobic exercise. It’s tough to get out and run while you’re at work. But if you can get out and walk, your hippocampus will be healthier, and your circulation will thank you too.

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                    10. Learn an instrument when you get home

                    guitar

                      This one is huge. Instead of watching TV or surfing the internet after work, pick up a musical instrument. Musical training helps your memory, spatial reasoning, and language skills. It’s better than brain-training apps, and there’s practical use for it, too. Once you know an instrument there’s a whole new social nexus of musicians waiting for you. There’s also a whole new understanding of music when you listen. You can’t think about work when you’re busy plucking an instrument. You’ll return to work refreshed after a night of playing music.

                      Featured photo credit: Froken Fokus via pexels.com

                      More by this author

                      Dan Matthews, CPRP

                      A Certified Psychosocial Rehabilitation Practitioner with an extensive background working with clients on community-based rehabilitation.

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                      Last Updated on November 5, 2019

                      How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

                      How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

                      Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

                      But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

                      The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

                      Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

                      But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

                      As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

                      Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

                      There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

                      The four most popular types of learning styles are:

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                      • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
                      • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
                      • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
                      • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

                      But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

                      How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

                      When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

                      I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

                      Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

                      However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

                      Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

                      While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

                      Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

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                      By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

                      How to Use Visual Learning for Success

                      Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

                      1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

                      We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

                      While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

                      I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

                      2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

                      Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

                      Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

                      As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

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                      And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

                      3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

                      Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

                      With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

                      Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

                      It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

                      Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

                      Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

                      4. Add video streaming to meetings.

                      What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

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                      When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

                      For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

                      Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

                      No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

                      You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

                      The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

                      More About Learning Styles

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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