Do you find it difficult to concentrate on tasks for prolonged periods? Are you constantly drifting away from important tasks and find you’re not accomplishing what you feel you should?
If this sounds like you, you’ll want to read the recent blog post Natural Ways To Increase Your Focus. Without focus, you’ll find it difficult to complete tasks and achieve your goals.
Luckily, many natural ways exist to increase your focus. Discover what daily practices can transform frustration and inefficiency into laser-focused productivity so you can get things done. Use these natural ways to increase your focus, overcome your barriers, move forward, and achieve your dreams.
To be productive and achieve your goals you must focus and maintain your focus for a long time. Lack of focus limits you and makes it harder to achieve your important tasks and goals. It also restricts creativity and innovation and impacts the quality of your work.
Two main areas affect focus. The first, and I think the foundation of everything, is physical and mental health. Consequently, this article focuses on strategies to improve your physical and mental health for superior focus. The second is how you organize your work, but that’s best left for another article.
Your physical health heavily influences your brain’s ability to think clearly, focus, and stay sharp. Good physical health also promotes healthy organs, including your brain.
Other organs can affect your brain and impact focus too. For instance, when your liver does not function optimally, because of congestion, toxicity, or an ongoing liver problem, it also affects your focus.
Overuse of stimulants such as coffee can also impact focus negatively. Even though you get an initial burst of energy and can focus well for a short while, when you drink too much your focus actually deteriorates.
How and what you eat also affects your focus. If you have a big lunch, you expend great amounts of energy to digest it. As a result, you feel sluggish and tired and even black tea or coffee won’t improve the situation.
In this article I want to share with you my favorite strategies to set up your brain for optimal focus. All these tips work best if you’re in fairly good health. However, if you’re chronically tired and have little energy, then you also need the advice of a health practitioner who can discover what’s causing your symptoms.
Okay, let’s dive in.
Tip #1 SLEEP!
Getting sufficient sleep every night is perhaps the biggest health and productivity secret of all. For starters, don’t believe it when you hear a person functions well on only 5 hours sleep and they don’t need more. Perhaps it is possible, but I’ve never met anyone yet who can do this.
Adults should get between 7 and 8 hours of quality sleep. Quality sleep means you wake up in the morning, totally relaxed, balanced, and alert. Ideally, this is how you should start your day. I am a morning person and consequently I do my training and my most important work until midday.
Another factor I find very important is the time you go to bed and the time you get up. For me, going to bed early and getting up early works best. It’s practical too, since I love outdoor sports and later in the day the sun is too hot.
In my experience, going to sleep and rising early creates healthier habits and keeps my mind alert. I’m out in the fresh air where I get plenty of oxygen, so my brain performs well.
If you are not a morning person, or even a day person, experiment to discover what works the best for you. Everyone has specific times that work best for them, so try to work within your peak times.
Tip #2 Healthy Power Breathing
Correct breathing is crucial if you want to increase your physical performance, and improve your immune system, memory, and focus.
What is correct breathing? In a nutshell, it is conscious breathing, with deeper inhales and exhales than usual. Simply sit upright, inhale and fill your lungs, and then exhale slowly and as much as you can.
Initially, it may feel strange to control your breathing, because most people breathe unconsciously. This usually results in very shallow breathes. Instead, you need to become aware of your breathing, train, and make deep breathing a habit.
Why bother with all this? Deep breathing offers many benefits. You release toxins more efficiently and the muscle movements massage your stomach, small intestine, liver and pancreas. This is particularly helpful if you sit before the computer all day.
Another huge benefit is it can alleviate emotional problems and ease stress levels.
You also utilize your lungs to capacity which provides your body and brain with far more oxygen, crucial for brain performance.
Tip #3 Eat Smaller Meals
After you eat a heavy meal, you naturally feel tired. Unfortunately, many people compensate for this tiredness and combat stress by eating too much. To be clear, I am not talking about the quality of food you eat, only the quantity.
Studies conclude overeating results in tiredness and a reduced ability to do focused work. After a large or heavy meal, your organs work overtime. They secrete extra hormones and enzymes to break down the food. As a result, you can feel drowsy, tired, or even nauseated. In many cases, people feel bloated and gassy, or even experience heartburn.
Obviously, these effects do not improve focus or productivity. My tip is to eat smaller amounts during main meals and plan for quick snacks in between.
Tip #4 Move Your Body
Sitting for hours working on a computer challenges your body. I already mentioned the benefits of conscious deep breathing, which increases oxygen to your brain. Additionally, I recommend you stand up regularly and move your body.
If you work at home like me, then it’s easy to use a timer and build in a short break after 25 minutes. However, I realize not everyone can get up and start stretching in an office.
Regardless, you can incorporate movement into your day even if you work in a corporate environment. Here are a few examples of how you can do this:
• Take the stairs, whenever possible.
• Go for a walk during your lunch break – you can eat your sandwich and walk through the park simultaneously.
• Visit co-workers instead of messaging them – walk to the person’s office and talk to them face-to-face.
• Turn meetings into walks – instead of sitting in a boring office, grab your colleague and walk while you discuss issues. You don’t need to leave the office – just move.
• Use a headset – carry a notepad and walk while you’re talking on the phone.
• Cycle or walk to work – when I worked in Stuttgart, Germany I cycled 45 minutes to and from the office. Exercise energizes you for hours and improves productivity.
Tip #5 Coffee and Tea
Some drinks do stimulate the brain to improve focus. My favorite drinks include green teas, coffee, and matcha tea. I mentioned earlier that drinking too much coffee can decrease focus, but how much is too much?
Finding the appropriate level for you requires experimentation. If you overdo it, you’ll have less focus – not more. After testing myself over the long-term, I’ve discovered my body tolerates one cup of coffee or tea in the morning and one cup in the afternoon (two cups total per day). I know some people might think this is very little, but once you start to eat light meals and sleep every night you might find you do not need a stimulant at all.
All too often, people drink cup after cup of coffee out of habit. Sure, you might feel focused for a few days, but in my experience you pay for it later. It eventually leads to chronic tiredness and brain fog.
I’ve provided you with a few natural ways to increase your focus and productivity. Now, it’s up to you to experiment to discover what works best for you. Start now, sit upright, inhale and exhale slower and deeper. Have fun.