How to clear your thoughts and refocus at work in summer

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Health Works

The lazy days of summer may make it tough to concentrate sometimes - especially when we're at work. But instead of focusing on all the summer fun you're missing out on, while at work.

You need to have a strategy. What's the first thing you do? Stop thinking about yourself.

Dr. Scott Bea is a clinical psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic, who says that in order to refocus you need to shift your concentration. 

"Imagine a ballplayer," Bea said. "He's had two fat ones go right past him. He starts thinking about himself too much rather than just see the ball and hit it. And whenever we get overly involved with our thoughts, we lose sight of what's happening in the here and now."

This means keeping family photos, or even pictures of your pets, on your desk can help to clear your thoughts and refocus.

He recommends introducing new pictures regularly, so you don't get used to them.  You can also take a walk when you're having trouble concentrating, or just look out the window at some trees.

One study found people who were able to look periodically at a grassy rooftop committed fewer mistakes and had better concentration when compared to people looking at a concrete rooftop.

 Bea says all you're trying to do is to "refresh your personal home page."

"Think about the time you're working on a crossword," he said. "You get a little stumped, if you step away from that for just a few moments it frees up your thinking. You can come back and all of a sudden the answer that was not available to you is available to you. So, there are a lot of psychological and productivity benefits to getting your brain off yourself."

Bea says even paying attention to the sounds or smells around you can help.  So maybe pack yourself a lunch that you'd look forward to, or get out of the building for a walk that will help you keep your focus sharp.

Until it's time for your next long summer weekend.