How your brain and body use fidgeting to increase focus.

Cindy JobsUncategorized

Is it multi-tasking or something else at work?

We’ve often heard that our brains can not multi-task; moreover, they are very effective at switch-tasking. However, new research has shown that doing two things at once may actually increase productivity.

ADHD expert John Ratey, M.D., outlined in his book Spark that physical activity — even something as small as fidgeting the hands — increases neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.

Mind you, the benefits of fidgeting come from being deliberate about it. Whatever you decide to try regarding fidgeting, keeping in mind is being socially and environmentally conscious. Your fidgeting should not be a distraction to others. Here are some thoughts on effective fidgeting:

  • Listen to music. Use earbuds when in the presence of others.
  • Doodle.
  • Drum your fingers when you are alone; inconspicuously tap your toes when you are with others.
  • If possible, walk around while on the phone or in virtual meetings.
  • Use an inconspicuous fidget toy. Very Well Mind has some great suggestions.

So, go ahead, fidget and enjoy the additional focus and productivity!

For additional information, here are some great resources:

Harness Fidgeting to Improve Focus

Fidgeting — It’s Not Just For Kids

Fun (and Functional) Fidgets for Kids with ADHD

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