While Carey acknowledges a little bit of structure is important, changing up our work environment and daily movements—taking a different route to work, for example—can maximize the brain’s effectiveness, allowing you to retain more information and be more successful.
Try these routine-shifting activities:
1. SPLIT LEARNING TIME IN HALF
"Research has shown that students who split two hours of study time in half—studying one hour today and one hour tomorrow—remember two times as much on a test a week later," says Carey. By splitting up your learning time, you’re not working any harder or spending any more time on the task; but, Carey says, you’re doing something far more important—you’re telling your brain that the information you learned is indeed useful.
2. CHANGE YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT
Take your work to the local coffee shop, or move around the office—from your desk to a communal space such as the lunchroom or a meeting room. Why? By changing your environment, your brain is now retrieving information in different places and will now see the information as more useful and worth holding onto.
3. DISTRACT YOURSELF
"If you distract yourself, it allows the brain to loosen some of the initial assumptions you made that pulled you in the wrong direction," says Carey. So, next time you’re stuck on a problem, get up from the desk, take a walk, talk to a colleague, or play a game on your iPhone and allow your mind to open up to new solutions.
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