Quick Brain Hacks To Improve Your Focus
Lack of concentration is a sign that both your brain and your mitochondrial function need attention. Your mitochondria are responsible for powering every function in your body, including your brain. If you can improve your mitochondrial function you can improve your focus and concentration and your brain will love you for it.
Let’s take a look at the best 5 hacks to improve your focus and your concentration so you will be more productive at work.
Create Brain-Friendly Work Habits
Ever heard of working in time blocks? These are spurts of time dedicated to focusing and concentration and when they’re up you give yourself a much smaller break before you repeat the cycle. The Pomodoro Method is a popular one where you set a time for 20-30 minutes and you work diligently before giving yourself a small 5-minute break. Every four blocks you allow yourself a longer break. The idea is that you will be more productive if you’re functioning at 100% for shorter periods of time than if you’re only operating at 50% function for longer periods.
You can also get up and move around throughout the day to get your blood flowing. Standing desks are great for this. They have been shown to increase productivity by 20% in the first month of use and by 50% if used for six months. If a standing desk isn’t possible for you, use your Pomodoro breaks to stretch or walk around, allowing more blood to flow to the brain.
However, distracting thoughts are tough to eliminate. Keep a notepad next to you when you work and write down anything that pops into your brain that doesn’t need to be addressed right away. Sometimes once the thought is out it clears more space for other more productive thoughts to come through.
Nourish Your Vision
In today’s world, your eyes are likely flooded with blue light which can be detrimental to your eyes. Overexposure to blue wavelengths can fatigue your eyes and brain and cause aging to happen faster. You can try blue light-blocking glasses while working on electronics to limit the amount of exposure you receive throughout the day.
You can also move your computer closer to a window or work outside on nice days to increase the amount of Vitamin D you receive. Natural sunlight helps with both vision and energy. You can also set limits on your devices so that they power down or go into airplane mode at certain times, forcing you to put them down. Limit your blue light exposure and your brain will function better.
Take Care of Your Environment
It’s important to know that the work environment that you thrive in will look different from anyone else’s. Some people can only function when they are completely organized while others thrive in mess and chaos. Your ideal workspace will be unique to you.
First, figure out your auditorily sweet spot. Do you enjoy noise when you’re working in complete silence? If silence is the answer you may want to invest in noise-canceling headphones. If you thrive with white noise take your work to a noisy cafe to enjoy the bustling ambiance. Some people need the right kind of music to get them in the workflow. If that’s you, try finding a playlist that soothes your nerves or put the same song on repeat to provide your brain with familiarity as you work.
Second, clean up your desk! Or don’t. It just depends. Clutter and disarray can cause your brain to want to restore order. But as it turns out, some people can transfer that energy directly to their work and become more productive in a messy environment, while others can not focus until their space is clean. Try both ways and figure out which works best for you.
Control Your Email
Don’t let your email eat you alive. As soon as a message comes in, determine whether it is urgent or not. Don’t waste your energy on new tasks that don’t need to be done right away, instead try to figure out where they can fit in the flow of your day. You can also utilize apps that will keep the tasks of your emails organized so you can delete the conversations that are unnecessary.
Evernote and Asana will do just that for you. You can also set up automatic replies so that when emails come in you can ensure the recipient that you are working on the tasks and issues without having to divert your attention away from your current task.
Supplements can be beneficial for brain function and concentration. Here are a few that can help you in the long run.
Vanilla: Real vanilla from vanilla pods is an anti-inflammatory and stress reducer. Stress fatigues the brain quickly and slows down information processing.
Choline: Found in egg yolks has a new neuron-producing effect. Choline also showed to have improved mental performance in Alzheimer’s patients.
Nicotine: NOT the one found in cigarettes, but the one separate from tobacco products, is also found in vegetables that we eat. Using nicotine patches or gum (again not cigarettes) can help improve focus and short-term memory.