It's not always possible to tune out every distraction and new studies show that may not be such a bad thing. Certain stimuli can actually enhance our concentration.
- Chew gum when balancing your checkbook, doing your taxes, or figuring out a budget. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine concluded that gum chewing reduces stress and increases alertness and concentration when working with numbers.
- Listen to classical music when you're writing a to-do list or planning a trip. The music boosts spatial temporal reasoning, used to help us think ahead.
- Doodle when you're trying to memorize facts. In one study, students who drew during a lecture retained 29 more information than the control group.
- Change background colors when you're working on the computer. Research shows that detail work goes better when the desktop is red, while blue boosts creative tasks.