The Comprehensive Guide to Improving your Focus and Concentration to Increase Productivity

swimmer
The Guide to Boosting Your Energy Levels and Reducing Chronic Fatigue
2019-06-11
focused guy

Being well focused is a guarantee of productivity. To improve your cognitive ability, it is possible to train your brain. We will provide tips on improving your brain health as well as supplements that can aid in increasing your cognitive performance, whether that is to improve memorization for upcoming exams, having more energy to exercise or endure long hours of work or to increase productivity in order to achieve tasks that require dedicated focus and concentration.

 

 

 

Why is it so hard to focus?

You’ve probably heard of the “writer’s block” already; an unproductive state in which writers can not write anything despite their best efforts.

Variations of this unproductive state affect many professionals engaged in all kinds of activities; from designers, to entrepreneurs.

The cause is not related to a lack of inspiration or will, but rather to the inability to devote one’s attention to a single task in a world that is too noisy.

There is always so much to do; but attention is usually lacking.

memory processing speed

One study found that when making important decisions (which requires a good deal of thought), the human brain processes information at about 60 bits per second. For comparison, information is transmitted at a speed of 56 kilobits per second over a dial-up internet connection (almost 1000 times faster).

This fact reveals a disappointing truth:

Attention is a limited resource. The information is not.
To improve one’s concentration comes down to two important points:

  1. The way you manage your attention.
  2. The way you block excess information or “noise”.

It’s easier said than done.

 

 

7 Effective Tips to Improve the Productivity (of Entrepreneurs)

productive entrepreneur

Over the years, I’ve learned that productivity is a skill that takes time to develop, especially for a self-taught entrepreneur. And I know I’m not the only one. Ask a contractor if he is busy and squeezed by the weather, he will probably laugh you in the face. This situation is related to the profession, but fortunately I learned a few things to assure my team and me an efficient use of time.

1. Force yourself to schedule an 8 to 9 hour work day


(if your goal is to schedule in 10 to 15 hour work days for more productive output for an intensive short-term project or exam preparations, you can still apply similar fundamentals but with a more intensive discipline of goal-setting, exercising, and managing your time while still leaving enough room for your personal time which is not recommended to be neglected)

The traditional workday from “9 to 5” is no longer considered a productive working schedule for many people.

If you are more alert and more focused in the morning, go to your workplace earlier and then leave earlier in the day. Conversely, if you like working in the evening, come around noon to end your day much later.

Avoid burning the candle at both ends. Do not get in the habit of coming to the office very early and leaving very late because in the end your personal life will suffer the consequences. In the long run, this practice can really damage your productivity because you will never be able to recharge.

You can not take care of your business if you can not take care of yourself.

2. Cut out the tasks to be done

At the beginning of each day (or the day before), write a list of things to do and put forward three things you absolutely must do.

Calendars and schedules are very useful to gain concentration. Try to assign a number of hours for each task to be performed.

3. Do not abuse technology

Technology can be a boon to productivity but it can also eat a lot of hours. Some applications can synchronize calendars and task lists of several software. It may be very convenient. However, you can also lose hours trying to understand how an application or software works.

When technological solutions exist to help productivity, entrepreneurs need to calculate the amount of time they spend to understand how things work and how they work in relation to long-term productivity gains.

4. Self-reflection

Nobody knows your strengths and weaknesses better than you, so you must choose the tips that boost your strengths.

If you pay more attention to automated task lists or reminders on your phone or computer, use technology to help your productivity. On the other hand, if your mind works better by writing tasks physically, invest in a classic calendar and an original pen.

5. Support your team

Being a more productive leader is not limited to checking things off your personal list, it also involves the ability to encourage others to perform tasks outside of their programs.

Power lies in your organization’s ability to multitask. If you can help others achieve their daily tasks and overall goals, you will be able to lead your entire business towards more productivity.

6. Be the most stupid person in the room

One of the best productivity tips is to hire people who are better than you on specific things.

You must work actively to be the most stupid person in the room. Thus, you will become less necessary for the realization of projects and the talent of the company will be increased tenfold and will do more things than if you manage everything alone.

As the team gets to do more things and becomes more independent, you are able to focus on the tasks of your responsibility to enable your business to grow and evolve.

7. Follow the “Morning Ritual” before starting each productive day

In the next section, I will explain the Morning Rituals as starting the day with an ritual is a great way to immerse yourself in a state of concentration.

 

 

The Morning Ritual to begin each productive day

yoga morning ritual

The idea is to create a list of very simple actions, to be repeated every morning. The shorter they are, the better; the whole ritual must not exceed 20 minutes. The choice of the different elements is obviously quite personal.

Here is an example of a morning ritual:

  • A large glass of water – during the night, we dehydrate, and we strongly advise you to start your morning by drinking water.
  • A little exercise – it’s not about going to the gym or going for a jog, but doing some stretching or some gymnastics to get your entire body moving.
  • The bathroom – no explanation needed.
  • Breakfast – choose light and healthy foods; eating too much fat and being too sweet at breakfast is harmful to productivity.
  • Connect to the outside world – catch up on the latest information, spend five minutes on your Facebook account, check your emails …

Make a list of tasks to do during the day – to make a transition to the start of work.

It’s up to you to develop your morning ritual; Once you have found a satisfactory formula, write it down on a sheet of paper so you never forget anything. Do this exercise for a month – it takes about thirty days to anchor a habit. Once you’re used to it, you’ll be able to invert or change items.

 

 

10 Practical Tips for Improving Your Mental Focus and Concentration

Throughout the day, thousands of thoughts cross your mind. Each thought is a “unit of strength” that draws on psycho-nervous energy.

But imagine that rather than disperse your mind over a multitude of thoughts , you are gathering your consciousness on a single thought, giving you the same thought with fantastic power and energy.

It is very important to develop the psychic quality of mental concentration . It makes it possible to work better, to study with great efficiency and to improve the functions of memorization.

1. Strive as best you can to do one thing at a time

Of course, there are imponderables and disturbances. However, when you have the opportunity to do it, act by doing one thing at a time. When you want to multiply tasks at the same time, all too often mistakes are common.

This task is often not performed correctly, which makes it necessary to return to it. Be totally what you do. Mentally and physically. Pay attention to the details in every act you do. Make sure that your thought is coherent with the present action.

2. Get out of the way! Minimizing Distractions

minimizing distractions

The number one enemy of concentration is the habit. On the other hand, when you perform a task, do you say that:

Minimizing these sources of distraction often sounds easier than it really is. In our minds we might think it is as easy as switching off the TV, radio or switching off your smartphone. However, the bigger challenge is usually dealing with external distractions such an  interrupting co-worker, your significant other / spouse, child, or roommate.

One approach to handling this situation is to allocate a time of the day and location where you can be left alone, whether that is by informing people around you, or finding a quiet location such as a private room, the library, a co-working space or even a cafe. If budget permits where you need an intensive day or so, even renting an Airbnb unit or hotel room with a desk could help to remove all distractions and allow you to focus on what needs to be achieved within the shortest period of time.

3. Add a “little effort” of a few extra minutes!

It is common to notice that your attention may seem to be disturbed by a relative tiredness caused by your work. Practice increasing your focus on this work by even 3 minutes.

You will learn to become the “governor” of your mind. It’s no longer he who decides when to “disconnect”, but you. Go smoothly, gradually increasing your extra “little effort” of concentration. You will develop your mental endurance .

4. Note what is disturbing your mind

Imagine that you are studying a history class in preparation for an exam. Suddenly, a thought crosses your mind. You have noticed an interesting article about your favorite sport. Immediately, by association of ideas your mind begins to create other thoughts in direct relation with your passion: the sport. A few minutes later, you completely “dropped off” with your subject.

From now on, to avoid the frustration that can result from refusing to yield to this thought by taking note of it by writing it down somewhere near you and indicate that you have thought of this article. Schedule the time of the day (or how many hours later) you plan to revisit that article.

5. Increase your personal motivation!

motivation to be productive

Give yourself some rewards as soon as you manage to “govern” your mind for a fixed period of time. It is important to find a reason for encouragement and motivation when the “challenge” is reached;  especially when it is a project or task where you need to stay focused until the end – without interruption – and that is successfully produced. You must be rewarded!

Give yourself an outing, a good movie or something else that gives you a relative pleasure. Your ability to focus the next time will be associated with the pleasure of succeeding.

6. Set specific goals!

Set a measurable goal based on what you intend to achieve. The brain will typically send signals that will make you more accountable for this goal if you write it down and follow it like your master plan for the day.

For example, you need to study for a lesson that requires a lot of concentration. You can say to yourself:

“I will spend 45 minutes to fully understand and master this course. ”

The more your brain knows what you need to do in setting a strategy, a specific goal, the more resources and abilities it has to mobilize the “mental and nervous forces ” needed to succeed in this work.

Think and write on a sheet of paper (on a list for example) how long, the quantity, the level to reach. You will find that if you perform this “goal” strategy, your level of mental focus will be amplified notoriously.

7. Avoiding mental distractions and the wandering mind

ways to stay focused

It’s a very effective thing that “plays” on the principle of “feedback” or self-control. The principle is that you will have next to your place of work, a sheet called “Distraction sheet”. The goal is to write down what was the source of the distraction every time your mind wanders from its current task.

For this method to work, you have to be sincere with yourself!

Indicate the date of the day. As soon as you notice that your mind is wandering on a theme different from the present action, quickly write a line on the distraction sheet. In a few days, you will notice this astonishing, every day, the number of distractions will decrease. You will be in “challenge” with yourself to gradually increase your level of concentration everyday.

Below are some free tools you can utilize to help you to minimize distractions and stay focused:

  • put your phone in airplane mode
  • use applications like Freedom to block all sites that might distract us while we work
  • Use RescueTime to calculate how much time you lose on a daily basis
  • Write a list of priority tasks to focus on so you do not waste time in meetings, stop being interrupted and not waste time with gossip
  • Use a noise reduction headset and listen to music that boosts our productivity to eliminate sound distractions

8. Use optimal mental concentration sequences

It is better to distribute sequences in your activities. Stay firm on your ability to stay fully focused on your work. You will be more effective if you “divide tasks” in small blocks or “milestones”. This can help intense mental activity.

Remember that if you divide your task into smaller milestones to allow mini breaks in between, it will help you to be more productive than if you try to finish your task at once.

Dividing a task into smaller sequences has been associated with a higher level of concentration than the opposite, when the duration of the periods of mental concentration per milestone are prolonged.

9. Increase your performance to stay focused

You will actually improve your results if you do the exercises everyday. You will sometimes encounter obstacles, periods of discouragement but, know that the next new attempts will improve your performances.

Concentration is acquired through daily use. It would be wrong to believe that simply deciding to stay concentrated for just this one day will be achievable. It is the repetition and building this discipline for improving your concentration and focus that will produce a quantifiable result.

Assume that if today you were able to maintain your focus for 7 minutes on an action and that tomorrow you could reach the 8 minute mark; then you have made real progress. Your brain will record this new performance and facilitate future attempts to increase the duration. Think of it as a workout to exercise your brain.  The brain needs to be exercised regularly to naturally increase stamina for the long run.

10. Stay awake to maintain focus

When we ask people who manage to stay focused on a task for a long time, they will tell you which ones are constantly trying to stay awake and interested .

We quickly lose the attention of our thoughts when interest is low. On the contrary, find new areas of interest in everything you do. There are many aspects to find that can keep you awake. Seek to appreciate what you are doing.

The less you are in the routine and the automated mode (automation), the more your mind will maintain a high level of concentration. An effective way to do this is to reset what you pay attention to by asking yourself from time to time on issues such as the following:

Where will I find …? ”

How to improve …? ”

What (color, texture, design) is this ..? ”

These questions are meant to redirect your mind through a center of interest. Have a similar level of curiosity as a child and being hungry for more “knowledge” is one way to reset your focus, and begin hunting for the answers to those questions.

 

 

How Can I Naturally Increase My Focus and Concetration with Natural Foods and Nutrients?

eggs nutrients for the brain

Bring the necessary nutrients to the structure and activity

By providing nutrients that improve the fluidity of the membrane and therefore its ability to pass the minerals needed for nerve impulses. These nutrients are phospholipids, the main sources of which are:

  • eggs
  • Soybean and soy lecithin

As for the nutrients that improve the electrical activity of the neuron are, for example magnesium, vitamin B6 and taurine . And the sources of these nutrients are:

  • Dark chocolate, almonds, nuts, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, bananas, grapes, dried prunes and apricots, seafood and wheat germ – for magnesium
  • Meat, fish, eggs: for taurine
  • Fish (tuna, salmon, cod), liver (beef, lamb), chicken, banana: for vitamin B6

Be sure to add these items into your grocery shopping list.

The precursors of neurotransmitters

The brain communicates using a number of neurotransmitters , chemical substances transmitted in the synapse: acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, GABA, glutamate and the famous endorphins . And there are others.

The presence of these mediators varies depending on the location in the nervous system. And that’s what gives them sort of identifiable properties. So :

  • Acetylcholine intervenes in the memorization and makes it possible to retain information, store it and find it at the necessary moment. It promotes creativity.
  • Dopamine promotes the search for pleasure or emotions, alertness and sexual desire
  • Serotonin plays an inhibitory role that leads to prudent, thoughtful, calm behaviors
  • GABA is also an inhibitor and it promotes calm and relaxation, decreases muscle tone and heart rate

All neurotransmitters are synthesized from precursors that will be brought by the diet.

Anyway, the goal is not to gorge on a precursor of dopamine to improve the search for pleasure! To boost the brain, yes.

The idea is to ensure that neurotransme transceivers will not be limited by deficiencies in our diet. The precursors of these neurotransmitters include:

  • For acetylcholine: salmon, anchovies and sardines …
  • For dopamine: almonds and nuts, banana, avocado, sesame, cereals, fruits, eggs, legumes, yeast.
  • For serotonin: whole rice, soy, fish, banana, chocolate, legumes, brewer’s yeast
  • For GABA: Meat, fish, dairy products, cereals, legumes

 

 

Natural Brain Stimulants to Increase your Focus and Concentration

coffee shop

Some of the best stimulants are:

  • Coffee: Coffee is one of the best known stimulants to increase our energy and concentration. It usually takes 10 minutes to see the effects.
  • The yerba maté: The yerba maté is excellent for concentration. Its effects are more progressive than coffee. The main disadvantage with coffee and that it usually causes “a crash” after a few hours. That is to say, we feel a fallout of its effects. The energy boost gives way to nervousness, stress and fatigue. This is not the case of yerba maté. This drink provides a constant source of energy throughout the day without any “crash” effects.
  • Water: There are many reasons to drink water regularly and concentration is one of them. Drinking water throughout the day has beneficial effects on our brain and our energy level. It suffices to be dehydrated to notice how important water is. When we run out of water, we usually suffer from headaches, we are tired and sometimes even dizzy. Regularly drinking water ensures the proper functioning of our brain.
  • Coconut oil (MCT oil): Coconut oil promotes the production of ketones that are a source of energy for our brain.To boost our concentration we also count ginkgo, bacopa or sage.

 

 

What are the best supplements for improving focus, concentration and productivity?

Having a good diet is the first step to protect these brain functions, but in addition, there are many supplements that can give you a boost. Here are the best brain supplements to keep you focused.

Why use supplements for the brain?

Your brain needs food, hydration and energy to work effectively. Have you ever had an exam and found that you have been able to concentrate better than on other occasions? Your diet may have played a role in that. Some foods, including fruits and vegetables, have properties that can help keep your brain healthy, while nutritional supplements containing these properties have also been shown to enhance memory and brain function.

It is always important to have a healthy diet. As for them, the supplements can fill any deficiencies. What’s more, other foods can affect the health and well-being of your brain, such as trans fatty acids, saturated fats and simple carbohydrates such as sugar and high fructose corn syrup found in soft drinks).

 

 

The Best Supplement for Memory – Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

fish oil

Fish oil supplements are full of fatty acids called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are two types of omega-3 fatty acids.

One of the many health benefits is that omega-3 fatty acids are made for your memory to work at its best. This is because DHA plays a big role in the structure and function of the brain. In fact, DHA accounts for a quarter of the fat and a whopping 90 percent of the omega-3 fat that is found in brain cells. DHA can be made in the body from foods containing α-linolenic acid, but it is a much slower process than direct consumption of DHA.

Not all fats are bad, especially when it comes to omega3 in fish oil. One of the ways that omega-3s can help brain health is their anti-inflammatory properties, which protect the brain from damage and the effects of aging. Omega-3s are therefore related to improving thinking ability, memory and reaction times.

Also good for improving memory:

Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine is a fatty compound, also known as phospholipid name, located in the brain. Phosphatidylserine supplementation is known to preserve brain health when taken in doses of 100 mg three times daily. It serves the health of the brain by reducing age-related damage, while doses of 400 mg daily have been shown to improve cognitive skills and memory.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine
Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid that your body creates naturally and you can get a boost with supplementation. It plays a big role in energy production, but by making you more alert and energetic, you can improve your ability to remember and trace your thoughts. In other words, it can help you act acutely, and think quickly.

 

 

The Best Supplements for Concentration: Ginkgo biloba and Caffeine

runner concentrating

Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo Biloba is a supplement derived from a natural source: the tree Ginkgo Biloba. It is known to be a brain stimulator because of its ability to increase blood flow to the brain, which can help concentration as well as memory.

Caffeine
Caffeine is a natural stimulant that you probably already know very well with your cup of morning, but it also manufactures in supplement form for a quick whip kick. It stimulates the brain and the central nervous system, giving the pep’s and alertness associated with coffee consumption.