If the COVID-19 virus has you suddenly working from home, you may find it challenging to hone your focus and maximize productivity. But don’t worry, you can train your brain to be more efficient.
5 Ways to Supercharge Your Focus
Whether you’re forced to work from home right now or you choose to work from home, there are plenty of benefits. But there are equally as many downsides – including costly distractions.
If you live with other people – like a significant other, kids, or roommates – the distractions are quite obvious and overt. But even if you live alone, being surrounded by your TV, bed, and household chores can prove to be challenging. And in order to be successful, you must find ways to overcome distractions and improve focus.
Here are a few specific tips and techniques that seasoned work-from-home professionals find to be quite helpful:
- Exercise Each Morning
Exercise activates your body, releases endorphins, and keeps your heart functioning properly. A failure to engage in regular physical activity will leave you feeling restless and disengaged.
While you don’t have to go to the gym or run five miles, every morning should start with some form of exercise. This could be as simple as doing pushups and jumping jacks in your home office, following a YouTube yoga instruction video, or playing basketball in the driveway. Just make sure you’re getting a good 20 minutes of increased blood flow.
- Eat a Healthier Diet
Cut out unhealthy processed foods and start eating fresh, organic options. We’re talking vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and natural ingredients. Having said that, be careful with following a commercialized diet.
There’s nothing wrong with dieting, but make sure you’re using the right kind of diet. All of these low-fat diets that health gurus have pushed over the years might help you lose weight, but they’re stripping you of the ability to focus.
The human brain is made up of 60 percent fat and it needs plenty of healthy fat to function properly. Try integrating avocados, eggs, nuts, and coconut oil into your diet to quickly improve your cognitive functioning. (One of the big benefits of working from home is that you have access to your refrigerator and pantry with your groceries. Shop wisely!)
- Stimulate the Vagus Nerve
Your body’s vagus nerve is responsible for regulating many of your body’s major functions and almost all of your organs. It starts at the stem of the brain and snakes all the way through the body down to the colon. Vagus nerve stimulation is known to improve focus and relaxation (among other benefits). Try using Xen headphones by Neuvana to enjoy gentle stimulation throughout your workday.
- Set Consistent Work Hours
Failing to operate on a consistent schedule is one of the biggest things new remote workers do that unknowingly sabotages them. You can’t just roll out of bed whenever you feel like it and saunter over to your laptop. You must set regular work hours.
“No matter what your working hours are, you treat that time period just as you would your schedule in a traditional office,” entrepreneur Shaunacy Ferro writes. “That means if your coworkers are pulling a 9-to-5 day in the office, you should be working during those hours, too.”
While there will always be situations where you need to start earlier, end later, or take a break in the middle of the day, try to keep your work hours as consistent as you possibly can. By starting at the same hour every morning and signing off at the same time in the afternoon, you train your brain to go into work mode.
- Eliminate Unnecessary Digital Distractions
Few things have the power to disrupt your focus when working from home quite like digital distractions. This includes TV, video games, email, smartphone apps, SMS, and social media.
The smartest thing you can do is block out these distractions by either removing them from your immediate environment, or by using silencing features and focus apps to neutralize notifications.
Ready, Set, Focus!
If focus feels elusive, you aren’t alone. It’s a tough thing to replicate on a day-to-day basis. But if you implement some of the tips outlined in this article, you’ll find it far easier to block out distractions and amplify productivity. Are you ready?