Time management is something that needs to be monitored and adhered to in the throes of trying to reach a deadline or a date to complete a project. There are only so many hours that one need be chained to the desk to be able to understand that productivity doesn't compound with hours in the same position and endless concentration focused on a computer screen.
I remember an old history lecturer who used to always advocate the modes of study principles. That it was no use sitting for hours on end at a desk, that brief breaks away from the books were the best way to keep your mind open, attentive and 'en pointe'. No-one can maintain an endless period of concentration at a high level and expect to see the plateau of cognitive function remain at levels that render the exercise useful! Rambling is also the first sign that you are spending too much time in front of the computer!
Menial tasks are actually a brilliant way of tapping into the paradigms of cognitive function and ensuring that the brain is getting the exercise that it needs (along with the body) that is necessary for co-ordination and neuron growth. SO we need to do more than just keep our minds active by reading tablets and documents and moreso, than sitting in front of a smart phone or tablet practicing 'brain games' from an application that was sold to us on Facebook. A recent day on the end of a week of heavy writing and computer programming, meant that I was actually welcoming the fact that I had 5 loads of washing to do, along with a bathroom that had been inundated with two teenage girls! When I felt myself starting to write, for want of a better word - CRAP, I suspended the computer and found solace in sweeping the back porchway and polishing my floor boards. I returned to my desk renewed, ready and fresh and wrote much more beneficial words than the tripe I was constructing previously.
This does not involve spending more time on a computer screen or device trying to stimulate brain training via an app. Physical activity stimulates blood growth, release of hormones, endocrine activity and any unknown manner of cellular functions that stimulate new neuron connections in the brain. You cannot replace this with 2 dimensional 'brain games' on a phone that don't stimulate a ncecessary physical component and provide a co-ordinated cellular response which stimulates 'growth'.
Exercise stimulates the brain plasticity by stimulating growth of new connections between cells in a wide array of important cortical areas of the brain.
BrainHQ.com - Physical Exercise For Brain Health
There is so much evidence that is available that supports the integration of physical activity to keep cognitive function at optimum levels. In other words, getting up and doing stuff with your body is vital to maintaining your brain capacity.
I had a 5th grade teacher who was frowned upon for taking his class regularly out of the classroom and into the quadrangle where we would play a game of rounders in the middle of lessons. Much to the disgust of our other student population who were enduring long hours of concentrated effort in stuffy rooms with overhead projectors and column heaters, we were also made pinions of jealousy as we obviously were having much more fun. This teacher was resolved in his conviction that physical exercise was the best way to keep the students interested, occupied and at optimum levels of concentration in class. Our class didn't fall behind in lessons. We weren't disadvantage by our trips outside during lesson hours, in fact, we still performed well and managed to maintain grade averages well into the year.
I believe this sort of stimulation at a physical level meant that we were much more inclined to be focused and remain able to maintain concentration when we were in lessons as our whole body was being targeted and stimulated rather than just our cerebral cortex. It was the original 'holistic' approach to education. There are some versions of this that stand true and others that are readily and summarily dismissed for their 'alternative' approaches to education. Sure you can swing too far the one way and not have the relative time constraints to finish the lectures on socio-economics of the Industrial Revolution (thank you Mr Fawcett for your endless ramblings on interest rates and car purchase techniques). But the truth is, there is a balance to be struck when it comes to sitting and focusing and stimulating your body and your brain at the same time through physical activity.
In order to give your brain a full workout, you need to engage both hemispheres of the cerebrum, and both hemispheres of the cerebellum. You can only do this by practicing, exploring, and learning new things in the three-dimensions of the real world—not while being sedentary in front of a flat screen in a cyber reality
Psychology Today - 8 Habits that improve Cognitive Function
It can even be as simple as changing up the environment within which you operate. A simple reconstruction of an office arrangement can sometimes stimulate new adaptive and behavioural functions in not only one person but an entire group. Take a group of students that are used to sitting in a horseshoe arrangement of desks and participating in open discussions and deabting ideals and references, and throw them in a room of amore traditional arrangement, where desks are in rows and regimented lines of facing forward to the teacher. Watch the reaction of the young minds and the discomfort created and the inability to participate in 'open' discussion and feel at ease in the environment. This is yet another example of what your other influences can do to your cognitive function.
So change things up a bit. Don't feel guilty about taking time out if that time is well spent stimulating what you require the most from. The brain and the mind is more than just that which is contained in the cerebral cortex. It is about the whole system, the whole being having stimulation so that everything works in cohesion. A little bit of all makes the whole thing better!
Tips for Choosing The Right Physical Exercise
§ In general, anything that is good for your heart is great for your brain.
§ Aerobic exercise is great for body and brain: not only does it improve brain function, but it also acts as a "first aid kit" on damaged brain cells.
§ Exercising in the morning before going to work not only spikes brain activity and prepares you for mental stresses for the rest of the day, but also produces increases retention of new information, and better reaction to complex situations.
§ When looking to change up your work out, look for an activity that incorporates coordination along with cardiovascular exercise, such as a dance class.
§ If you like crunching time at the gym alone, opt for circuit work outs, which both quickly spike your heart rate, but also constantly redirect your attention.
§ Hitting a wall or mentally exhausted? Try rebooting with a few jumping jacks for your brain improvement exercises.