5 Brain Hacks to Make You More Alert

By Mel Sim

Do it now and you won’t be caught dozing off at the desk or meeting.

It’s Monday – you were up late last night (football? deadlines?) and after that nasi kandar lunch, you’re struggling to keep awake.

Happens to all of us. A quick snooze sounds pretty awesome now but that’s not something you want to do at your desk (even if the boss is not around). Have a third cup of coffee? It can cause you to feel more tired than you were, so that’s out of the question.

Instead, try one of these five hacks that will help boost your attention and bring your focus back.

#1 Stop everything you are doing
Guess what – forcing yourself to focus on the report in front of you is why you are losing focus in the first place.

Our brain is not supposed to focus on one thing for long periods of time. Research shows that for your brain to be alert, you need to think about something else every 20 minutes. It’s like refreshing your brain so that it is able to input new information after “deleting” the old stuff.

So take two to three breaks every hour (it doesn’t have to be long – a minute will do!) to stretch, walk around or look outside the window. This will significantly enhance your awareness, and boost concentration and productivity.

#2 Stare at the second hand of your clock for five minutes
Sounds crazy but it is actually hard to do as this task forces you to think of nothing else but that second hand. What does it do to your brain? It helps build attention span and in turn, gives you better concentration.

#3 Do a quick Sudoku or crossword puzzle during lunch time
These brain games not only help you stay awake but in the long run, they help improve mental performance, improve memory, and even ward off dementia.

#4 Right handed? Use your left hand to work the mouse
Plug your mouse into the opposite side of the computer and use your non-dominant hand to use it for 15 minutes. Doing something different than what you are used to will stimulate your brain and help increase alertness. Not to mention wake you up because of how difficult it can actually be!

#5 Play a brain game
An easy way to recharge your brain is to look away from your computer screen and observe your surroundings. In two minutes, find for five blue objects and five red objects. This helps you concentrate better and trains your mind to be more mindful and present.

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