Seven natural ways to improve your focus and be more productive
It feels good to have a productive day. You’ve accomplished a lot and feel like you’ve earned a good evening off.
But as much as we may start out with good intentions, not every day is as productive as we’d like. In fact, some days it can feel really HARD to get started on anything, don’t you think?
But what makes the difference between a day when we achieve a lot, and a day when we procrastinate or fall into a social media hole… and get little worthwhile done?
Could it be partly be blamed on our reliance on digital gadgets? Apparently, our attention span is shorter than a goldfish’s (we lose interest in just eight seconds, while a goldfish holds its focus for nine seconds). Or could it be things like sleep, diet, exercise, or motivation?
Whatever the cause, here are seven natural ways to improve your focus and be more productive.
1) Get enough sleep
During REM (rapid eye movement) sleep your brain’s cells regenerate. Recharged cells improve your ability to make decisions while removing toxins. So getting the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep each night increases cognitive function including your concentration.
Sleep improves your memory too, making it easier to retain information and use it to solve future problems. You can also detect reasons for your lack of focus because sleep helps you problem solve!
A good night’s sleep is one of the best natural ways to improve focus. You will start to tackle the other issues causing your lack of concentration. It will help with organization, procrastination and discipline.
2) Create a routine
If you are scattered, with a clear lack of motivation, or you feel there isn’t enough time in the day to do all you need to achieve, then you need to start setting yourself a routine. A schedule will help you plan your day by setting goals and a timeframe to complete those goals.
Start your day off with an exercise to feel productive and energized. Physical activity will get you motivated and is the perfect beginning of a routine. You can train your muscles and brain to be prepared for the day’s obstacles by creating a challenging workout routine. After exercising you will feel more equipped to handle daily tasks.
Makes sure you schedule your meal times as well. Skipping food or eating late can affect your mood and make you tired. These symptoms are a bad mixture to stay motivated. So keep your body and brain happy with healthy and frequent food options.
3) Work in your productive times
Sometimes natural ways to focus don’t always work – particularly if you’re trying to force yourself to be productive when your body clock wants to rest. For example, trying to work late into the night when you’re a morning lark.
It’s important to remember that everyone is different. If you are working from home then you have the opportunity to choose when to work. So choose the times that work best for you. If you start the day slow then use that time for entertainment and hobbies, and start your working day later.
But if you’re a morning person then you can hit the gourd running early, and switch off earlier in the day, giving yourself vital free time to reset and recharge in the evenings.
Breaks are also important to create periods of productivity. Take 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon to go on a walk or browse online. However, do limit yourself to a set time for your break, and ensure you return to work afterwards.
Scheduling a time to be productive will decrease your chances of getting distracted. You will know that for a certain time you can let your mind wander. So don’t cheat by going on social media during your chosen work hours!
4) Set a timer
Another way to be aware of how much time you are spending on tasks (so you can end one task and move onto the next, as scheduled) is to set a timer. It’s all too easy to get lost in a project or a movie, then realize that time has run away from you.
Don’t rely on your internal clock to alert you, instead set an alarm on your phone or other device.
You can also use timers to help you focus. If you’re struggling to get started on a job, decide how much time you need for it (30 minutes, an hour, 90 minutes?) then set a timer, and promise yourself a reward when you’ve finished.
This helps you to focus by giving you a defined period of time to work in, and the certainty than in half an hour the job will be done and you’ll be enjoying a coffee while browsing Instagram for 15 minutes. Don’t forget to turn off any distracting alerts or devices during your focus time.
5) Take supplemental herbs
There are many natural remedies for focus and concentration that can be taken to enhance your brain function. Supplements like ginkgo, ginseng, B6, dark chocolate, and even CBD candy all contain vitamins, minerals, or omega-3 fatty aides that feed the brain.
These supplements can be added to a healthy diet of fresh food. Eating a balanced diet and getting the right amount of nutrients is essential for proper brain function, as well as a health body. Lowering your blood pressure, strengthening your heart, and improving your immune system will all help to give you more energy to focus.
Aways speak with a nutritionist before adding supplements to your regimen. You should take the correct dosage based on your body and diet.
6) Avoid distractions with a separate work space
Sitting in front of the TV or in a room where people congregate lowers your brain’s ability to concentrate. One of the best natural remedies for focus and attention is to create a space that caters to these needs.
So create a designated office (or work space in your home) where there is no TV and you can close a door to outside noise. Tell your friends and family when you are working or have a sign on the door to not disturb you.
And not only will your own designated work space help to give you some peace and quite, but you’ll get Ito the habit of working in the space, and you’ll naturally find it easier to focus when there.
7) Keep a checklist
A checklist is a powerful way to keep track of your tasks, and (just as important) your accomplishments. It helps you to plan your day with realistic goals that can be completed in the designated timeframe.
A list will also help you stay on one task – you can tell yourself that you’re not allowed to move to another activity until the current one is completed. This practice will keep you focused on one thing at a time, instead of jumping from project to project without fully completing anything.
And at the end of the day you can look at a list full of ticks – giving you the satisfaction of a good days work, and encouraging your brain to want more of those good feelings the next day too.
Boost your productivity with natural remedies for concentration
If you start applying these natural remedies for concentration you will soon start to notice a positive difference in both your focus and your output – and the results you enjoy.
You’ll work with more direction and purpose, and achieve more in a shorter work day. So you can enjoy even more time off!
Photo by Chase Clark