Work Smarter//

Why Looking at Photos of the Royal Baby Can Actually Improve Your Focus

Research shows that looking at cute pictures can help your concentration.

Dominic Lipinski/WPA Pool/Getty Images
Dominic Lipinski/WPA Pool/Getty Images

It’s been a big week for royal baby news. First we found out that Meghan Markle gave birth to a healthy baby boy from a gushing Prince Harry,and now we know the full name of the newest member of the royal family: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. We’ve also been treated to our first glimpses of the little one with his debut photos. And if you’re having trouble concentrating at work because you’re tempted to scroll through pictures of Meghan and Harry’s bundle of joy, there’s actually a scientific reason why you should (temporarily) give in.

Taking cognitive micro-breaks at work has been proven to give your brain a moment of pause and fun — and they can actually improve your job performance, according to a 2018 study in the Journal of Applied Psychology. That’s why a brief trip to the water cooler, a chat with a coworker, or a look at the family photo on your desk all help you come back to your work feeling refreshed.

New research from the University of Oslo has also found that looking at infantile “cute” attributes evokes heartwarming, joyful, and touching feelings. That explains why so many people are experiencing little bursts of joy today as they look at the new photos of Archie — and why, if you’re one of them, you can then return to work and experience improved performance.

In other words, don’t feel guilty about taking a few minutes to look at the pictures of Archie today — you’ll be more focused for the rest of the workday.

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BELFAST, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 23:  Meghan Markle is seen ahead of her visit with Prince Harry to the iconic Titanic Belfast during their trip to Northern Ireland on March 23, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
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