Achieving peak performance is very important to some people, whether it's performance at school, work, or any other important endeavor in life. The ability to maintain concentration during physical and mental work can increase our performance, while the layout and organization of the work environment, body posture, ambient sounds, and physical movement can affect productivity and our creativity.

Below you will read some tools and strategies that are based on peer-reviewed scientific research, which can help you achieve high levels of productivity, increased concentration and clarity.

Optimal Organization of the Office/Workspace

 Body posture:

o Sit up straight

o Ideally when possible, work from a standing position

position at least half the day

-The position of the body in relation to gravity affects

alertness levels significantly

 Optical system:

o Place the center of the work screen at eye level or

ideally in a position where you look slightly upwards (creates

waking state). Follow the same for other surfaces

which you need to focus your gaze and attention on

your work

o Avoid leaning the seat back to face the screen

the above

-Important strategies, especially for those who tend to feel sleepy at noon

 Set work cycles for the most demanding tasks that require deep


o 90 minutes or less cycle time

o Set a timer

o Avoid interrupting the work cycle unless it is urgent

Ideal time for work with cognitive concentration requirements: About 3-4 hours after waking up in the morning

 Minimize distractions:

o Ask not to be interrupted except for something


o Use clues (eg a written note

or light indicator) so that the

partners and the working people

environment for your unavailability

o Turn off notifications from the web (they are available


o Turn off or silence phone notifications

 Management of environmental sounds, use of sounds and music:

o Avoid exposure to monotonous sounds such as from air conditioners and

ventilation units, especially if there are no other sounds in the room

o Using low levels of white noise enhance concentration and

maintaining workflow, but avoid prolonged use

of (1 hour maximum duration)

o Use binaural beats *(ideally 40 hertz), either before it starts

duty for 30 minutes, or during work

o Listen to the kind of music you enjoy and it creates for you

alert mode, always at safe volume levels

-Tolerance levels of environmental sounds vary from person to person, as well as from day to day for the same person. There is no rule about the presence or absence of ambient sounds such as music or speeches. Use audio-related tools personalized to your needs every day.

 Lighting for ideal levels of alertness and the healthy functioning of the circadian rhythm:

o 1st phase, 0-9 hours after waking up in the morning
• Choose strong lighting in the early hours of the day and when it's cold
color (eg cool white or blue), ideally placed above the
head. Be careful not to cause pain to your eyes or any
physical pain
• If you work next to a window, prefer to have the windows
open when possible

o 2nd phase, 9-16 hours after waking up in the morning
• Reduce the intensity of the lighting and if possible avoid/close
lighting above your head
• Decrease the volume of the computer screen
• Prefer lighting with warm colors (eg yellow or red)

o 3rd phase, 17-24 hours after waking up in the morning
• Limit exposure to lighting to the minimum necessary
lighting intensity, depending on the requirements of your tasks

-Exposure to bright light during the 1st phase of the day positively affects the ability to concentrate for the whole day, not just during light exposure. In cases where during the 3rd phase maximum alertness is necessary for your ideal performance (night shift, short deadlines for completing tasks, etc.) exposure to strong lighting can maintain alertness at high levels, but affecting the circadian rhythm .**

 Physical exercise and movement:
Combining exercise with cognitive tasks has been shown to improve concentration and task performance. Of course, access to a workplace that combines the bicycle or corridor with the computer desk is limited to impossible! But physical exercise outside of work, in addition to the benefits for mental and physical health and physical performance, also contributes significantly to better mental performance. There are physical exercise protocols from peer-reviewed scientific research that contribute to maximum performance and brain health.

With the understanding that your work and personal tasks will not be done every day in the same place, try to apply some of the above tools to improve your concentration and cognitive function, and put them in a context for specific work requirements.

Anastasia Lekka

Human High-Performance Consultant

MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology

Graduated from the Department of Physical Education and Sports Science

Behavior Change Specialist, ACE



* Binaural beats is the perception of sound by the brain, when you simultaneously hear two tones with a slightly different frequency. Using headphones each tone is heard in a different ear.

**Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles, part of our body's internal “clock” (circadian clock), which controls the body's changes throughout the day. The sleep-wake cycle, metabolism, hormonal activity are some of the bodily functions that our circadian clock controls and synchronizes. Maintaining a stable circadian rhythm is essential for good health.


Effects of binaural and monaural beat stimulation on attention and EEG

Psychophysiological responses to potentially annoying heating, ventilation, and air conditioning noise during mentally demanding work#

Office noise and employee concentration: Identifying causes of disruption and potential improvements

Effects of a Workplace Sit–Stand Desk Intervention on Health and Productivity

Circadian Rhythms and Circadian Clock

What Are Binaural Beats?