Do you ever sit down at your desk, with a ton of work to do, but can’t seem to concentrate?
I get that all the time. And it always seems to happen right when a deadline’s looming.
I’m sure you’ve had those days when your thinking is cloudy, you’re easily distracted, and frankly, just not very motivated to do anything.
So the next time you’re in this position, I have a fun little trick for you to try.
But I’ll warn you ahead of time; this exercise looks incredibly silly, so do this in public at your own risk! But it is highly effective and I’ll tell you why after we’ve mastered it.
Ready to start?
Sitting down or standing up, take your right hand and, at the same time, lift up your left knee and touch them together. Next, do the same with your left hand and right knee.
Now, do this over and over again; it should look like a silly dance or like you’re marching in place. Do this exercise for 2 to 3 minutes, back and forth, at a pace that’s comfortable to you. It’s important to move both your leg and your arm with each set.
Out of breath yet? Feel ridiculous? Yeah, probably because you look ridiculous doing it!
Ready to find out why I made you do all this? Well, here’s how it works:
Your brain 101
As you may or may not know, the right hemisphere of your brain controls the left side of your body, and vice versa. So when you move your left hand or left leg, it activates the right hemisphere of your brain, and your right arm or leg is controlled by the left hemisphere.
Next you should know that the right hemisphere of your brain is commonly believed to be in charge of creative endeavors; art, music, and emotion are strongest in this region of the brain. The left hemisphere of the brain is in charge of analytical thinking, language, and math.
Hang in there, just a little bit more background science, then I’ll tell you why you just did the funky chicken.
The right and left brain don’t talk to each other very much, but when they do it’s through a small connection called the corpus callosum—which helps with complete brain use and completing complex tasks.
Anyway, so when you raise your left or right knee to your opposite hand, it forces neurons on both sides of the brain to fire and communicate with each other. This warms up the corpus callosum and both hemispheres, prepping them all for action.
So, after doing this funny little dance—you should not only be out of breath, blood pumping to your brain—but raring to go on that tough project you were dreading.
Let me know how this works for you!
Any other silly tricks that help you with motivation or concentration? What’s your routine or ritual when you need to focus?