When you have a big day (or a big work project) ahead of you, there are plenty of ways to stay focused. Feeling scatterbrained and unable to concentrate? Don't diagnose yourself with adult ADHD yet.
A balanced diet and other healthy habits help you concentrate and preserve your memory. Good habits also reduce the likelihood of developing mentally incapacitating medical conditions. A poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption and stress impede cognitive function in daily life. The conditions that lead to stroke, Alzheimer's and dementia are aggravated by poor lifestyle choices.
If poor memory and inability to focus interfere with your daily life, check with your doctor to rule out underlying medical causes. The prescription and over-the-counter medications you take can harm your concentration, so review the drugs you take as possible sources of “brain fog”.
Easy Ways to Stay Focused
When you are faced with preparing a report or other project requiring intense concentration, it's natural to wonder how you'll ever get through it. The best ways to stay focused involves eliminating the “brain fog” that causes delays and frustration. When you feel distracted and tired, it's impossible to muster the concentration to make the right decisions or do your best work.
We spend a significant portion of each day transfixed by a cell phone, iPad, computer or TV screen. This instant communication/gratification deflates our ability to concentrate on any one task for long. Take breaks from your Smartphone and computer throughout the day to complete electronic-free projects. Spend the first and last hour of each day away from your phone and computer. Being unplugged helps you prepare for the day without distractions. Unwinding at night without the constant glare of an electronic screen, helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep all night. If you're fully rested when you wake up, you'll be better able to focus on the day's activities.
Be More Productive with Healthy Ways to Stay Focused
A healthy lifestyle helps you resist distractions. Even small tweaks to your daily routine can increase your focus and enable you to be more productive. Walk up stairs at work instead of taking the elevator to increase energy and blood flow to the brain.
What we eat and drink, how often we exercise, how much sleep we get and how we deal with stress affects our ability to concentrate. These changes must be permanent for best results – the once in awhile push to exercise or eat better won't keep or concentration high.
Best Ways to Stay Focused at Work
The longer and harder you work on a task, the more your focus drops. Drinking cup after cup of coffee and pushing yourself to work even harder may help you stay awake, but it won't help you focus. Time yourself to work in blocks of between an hour and 90 minutes, and take a walk or snack break (healthy foods only!) at the end of each session. You'll feel refreshed and have better concentration when you return to your task.
Internet surfing is a pleasant distraction on the weekends, but a dangerous time-waster at work. Many apps can turn off specific websites (or the entire internet) for a specified amount of time. Notice what distracts you and when, and identify ways to handle it. If a chatty co-worker stops by your desk and you talk to them for fifteen minutes instead of doing your work, resist the temptation to talk to them or move to another part of the office.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Dozens of studies and articles have circulated recently about the importance of getting enough sleep.
If you get less than six hours of sleep a night once in awhile, you'll probably be sluggish and unproductive the next day, but recover once you get your normal seven to nine hours sleep the next day. Chronic sleeplessness has more severe consequences. It affects your memory, impairs your thought process and makes learning difficult.
Insomnia makes your reaction time slower, which is dangerous when driving or performing other tasks requiring quick decisions. Drowsiness due to sleep deprivation can be as deadly as driving drunk. A study conducted at the University of Texas at Austin showed sleeplessness had negative effects on automatic responses necessary to make accurate, split-second decisions.
2. Eat Healthy Foods
What you eat affects your memory and cognitive function, both short and long-term. A steady diet of processed foods, fatty red meats, refined flour and candy cloud your thinking and make it hard to focus on any one project for long. To increase concentration, eat a diet rich in raw foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts – the same foods you'd eat to lose weight and improve overall health. Choose foods rich in the following vitamins for an extra boost in concentration.
Foods rich in Vitamin E include brain-boosting antioxidants called tocopherols to fight free radicals and help prevent Alzheimer's disease. Add almonds, leafy green vegetables, sunflower seeds and avocados to your diet to get more Vitamin E.
All B-complex vitamins help synthesize neurotransmitters and ensure healthy nervous system function. B vitamins help create serotonin, dopamine and other brain chemicals necessary for optimal brain function. They also balance energy by regulating the amount of glucose in the blood. This reduces hyperactivity and allows people to focus better. Although all B-complex vitamins contribute to better focus, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 are vital for improving concentration. Signs of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) deficiency include short term memory loss, short attention span and irritability. Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) supports nervous system function and prevents memory loss. It's sometimes prescribed for children with ADHD to increase their attention span.
Get more Vitamin B12 in your diet by eating meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. Vegetarians and vegans can get more B12 by eating fortified breakfast cereals and fortified soy products. Sunflowers seeds, tuna, pistachio nuts, turkey, bananas, spinach and avocados contain Vitamin B6. Looking for easy, delicious ways to stay focused? Try eating more foods with B vitamins.
According to research at Johns Hopkins University, people taking antioxidant-rich Vitamin C and Vitamin E were 78% less likely to have Alzheimer's when the study began, and 64% less likely to have Alzheimer's at study's end four years later. Eat fresh strawberries, oranges and apples as snacks instead of candy or baked goods. Choose potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower or bell peppers as side dishes at dinner. The abundance of Vitamin C in these foods helps make the brain chemical serotonin to keep you focused and fight depression.
Choosing foods rich in these vitamins keep your brain healthy and focused. Minerals necessary for good concentration include magnesium (found in nuts, seeds, fish, dark chocolate and whole grains) and zinc (nuts, peas, liver and pumpkin seeds). Eating sensibly is one of the best ways to stay focused.
3. Exercise More
Exercise makes you look and feel younger, builds muscles and helps you maintain your body weight, but it also builds brain power. According to an article in the May 2013 Harvard Men's Health Watch, regular moderately intense exercise stimulates brain chemicals related to memory function.
A brief exercise session of between 10-40 minutes increases mental focus, probably by increasing blood flow to the brain. The results of a study conducted on 586 kids and young people, published in the British Medical Journal indicated kids and young adults who exercised right before a test or other mental challenge performed better.
4. Drink Water
The next time you have a work presentation or speech, you may want to drink a glass of water instead of a latte to boost your energy and focus. Most advantages of drinking H2O are pretty well-known. Drinking water keeps your skin moist and youthful, helps you maintain a good balance of body fluids and fills you up so you eat less. Now we can add better cognitive function to the health benefits of water. A UK study showed students who brought water with them to exams performed better than undergrads who didn't. Researchers have two possible explanations for this. Water may have a physiological effect on brain function – we know dehydration causes confusion, so staying well-hydrated may help us think clearly. (Another study shows even slight dehydration causes decreased alertness in adults) Drinking water may also reduce anxiety, which is a barrier to performing well on tests.
To stay hydrated throughout the day, keep bottled water in your backpack or near your desk. Keep alcohol and coffee consumption to a minimum, since these beverages cause dehydration. Eat more fruits and vegetables, since they have a high water content. (Watermelon and strawberries are 92% water!)
5. Plan Ahead
Before you go to bed each night, jot down a few goals for the next day. You may not complete all the projects planned for the next day, but you'll be on point and focused if you plan ahead and avoid that “What did I forget to do?” feeling. On Sunday nights, you may want to write down your goals for the week. Stephen Covey, the late business author and educator, popularized this method in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.
A study by researchers at the University of Washington indicated that meditation gave workers more energy and helped them to stay focused on tasks. The results concluded subjects “reported significantly greater mindful awareness and attention after meditation training”
An Italian study found meditation improves mental focus enough to enhance cognitive performance. Subjects who meditated had a stronger ventral posteromedial cortex (vPMC), a region of the brain responsible for wandering thoughts. MRIs taken on study participants showed non-mediators had less control over stray thoughts in this section of the brain than meditators.
One of the best ways to stay focused - Put aside between five and 20 minutes a day to meditate. Your productivity will improve a bit every day you meditate. As you turn down the static in your mind.
7. Take a Nutritional Supplement
Any multivitamin or nutritional supplement will give you more brain power, but some supplements pack more of a punch than others.
Wheatgrass pills contain a storehouse of nutrients (courtesy of chlorophyll) to increase your focus. You'll find all of the vitamins and minerals necessary for better concentration, including Vitamins C,E B6 and B12, magnesium and zinc, in a high-grade wheatgrass pill. Unlike wheatgrass juice, wheatgrass pills don't require at-home preparation time - or standing in long lines at a retail chain. And some wheatgrass pills have added herbs for even more health benefits. Taking a wheatgrass tablet is one of the easiest ways to stay focused longer. With hundreds of enzymes, protein-building amino acids and other vital, wheatgrass is a superior brain booster
Add Zeal O2, Revv and HappyGirl to Your List of Ways to Stay Focused
If coffee is your go-to solution when you need to focus, try Revv Natural Energy Supplement instead for a greater concentration and endurance. Revv wafers are made with great-tasting cocoa and refreshing mint. But chocolate mint does more than give Revv its flavor. Cocoa contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which block free radicals from damaging cells. Mint is a powerful anti-inflammatory, due to its high content of the antioxidant rosmarinic acid. And wheatgrass, the main ingredient in Revv contains hundreds of nutrients including magnesium, zinc, Vitamins C, E, A and K, plus extra B-complex vitamins for increased concentration. We've even added periwinkle herb to boost blood flow to the brain. For better vitality and focus, take Revv as need throughout the day. Buy here: http://wheatgrasslove.com/products/revv-buy-now
Zeal O2 Natural Weight Loss Supplement and Energy Booster offers all the enzymes, amino acids, minerals and vitamins in wheatgrass to keep your healthy and focused while you lose weight. We've added a proprietary blend of ginseng, gingko biloba, green tea extract, cayenne pepper and other brain-healthy herbs to stop inflammation and give you a strong body and clear mind. Buy Zeal 02 here: http://wheatgrasslove.com/products/natural-weight-loss-supplement
Stay focused and fight the blues with HappyGirl Natural Depression Remedy and Mood Enhancer. The B-complex vitamins, zinc and magnesium in wheatgrass boost your mood and calm your nerves, leaving you more poised and better able to concentrate on the tasks at hand. The herbal blend in HappyGirl is bursting with green tea extract, gingko biloba, hawthorne berry, ginger and other nutrients shown to improve brain function. HappyGirl is formulated for women, men and seniors. Get better concentration and a better mood without the side effects of prescription antidepressants with HappyGirl! Buy HappyGirl here: http://wheatgrasslove.com/products/happygirl-buy-now
Call us at 877-303-1717 to place your order.Find healthy ways to stay focused and take a wheatgrass supplement from WheatgrassLove and your productivity will soar!