Being able to work from the comfort of your own home offers some pretty amazing perks: You can stay in your PJs and hygge-approved slippers all day, hang out with your dog, and since your kitchen is just steps away, it’s super easy to whip up a healthy lunch. But if you find yourself losing focus every so often, that’s totally normal—and you should use your DIY environment to your advantage.
To check everything off your to-do list and take some well-deserved breaks in the process, simply follow your ultradian rhythm—AKA a recurrent cycle between the two sides of your brain throughout the day. According to Holger Reisinger, author of Get S#!t Done!, finding your rhythm can help you optimize your focus—and, thus, finish more tasks.
“For 90 to 120 minutes, we’re dominated by the left side of our brain and see a boost in productivity. Then for 20 minutes, we’re dominated by the right side of our brain as we feel a sudden urge to yawn, eat, and stretch.” —Holger Reisinger
“For 90 to 120 minutes, we’re dominated by the left side of our brain and see a boost in productivity,” Reisinger told Fast Company. “Then for 20 minutes, we’re dominated by the right side of our brain as we feel a sudden urge to yawn, eat, and stretch.”
Reisinger recommends finishing your brainpower-necessitating, top-priority tasks during your left-brain cycles, when you feel most alert to your responsibilities, and breaking to take your dog on a walk or get in a quick workout (like this 15-minute one you can do by your desk) during your right-brain cycles, when you may, say, read the same sentence three times without it really sinking in.
That mental breaks you can gift yourself at home, opposed to the go, go, go attitude common to many traditional workplaces, are not only likely to improve your productivity, but also your well-being because, collectively, they may help you fight the onset of burnout.
So the next time you feel fatigued, lean into it by doing something mindless for a few minutes so that when you get back on task, your left-side brain will be ready to get down to business.