Natural Ways to Increase Your Focus & Productivity

Most of us are incredibly busy on a day-to-day basis, which means we’re always looking for ways to get things done faster or more efficiently. In some cases, a different style of planning and organization can work wonders for individuals struggling with productivity. However, you may not realize that your health has much more to do with it than you think. Today, we’re going to talk about some simple ways that you can naturally set yourself up for success in whatever you do.

Think About Sleep

You probably already know that sleep is important and that you should be getting around seven to eight hours of sleep per night as an adult. Most of us have heard this over and over since we were children, but for some reason many of us choose not to take it seriously. Sleep is critical to your ability to focus and thus your daily output. Every night your brain recuperates and stores information that is important so that you can remember it and recall it at a moment’s notice. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body simply cannot perform this task.

What’s more, you’ll feel sluggish (we’ve felt that before), and you just won’t be performing like you should be. So, if you’re having trouble getting your nightly recommended amount of sleep, examine what kinds of things are deterring you from it. Thousands of people in America have trouble falling asleep for one reason or another.

If you feel like this applies to you, there are some things you can try to quiet your mind and help you fall asleep (and stay asleep). First, try to create a routine around falling asleep. Put your phone away and do something that puts you in a mental space for relaxation. Pamper yourself with a good book and some tea or try some mindful meditation so that you can focus your mind on ideas that aren’t distracting.

Examine Your Diet

Next, you have to remember that what you eat has a huge impact on how you feel. If you’re feeling slow and tired every day, take a look at your meal plan for the week. You should fill your diet with food items that give you a mental boost and keep your brain sharp. I know that is harder said than done because when you’re hungry, you just want to eat something that is quick and easy, but there are ways to incorporate good foods into your diet in simple ways.

Start with meal planning. If you even have one day a week that gives you some time, try to use just an hour or two to plan out what you might want to eat that day. Package up some easy foods that you can reach for to give yourself a nutrient boost throughout the day. Things like nuts, yogurt, nutrient dense smoothies and especially as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you can handle. Setting these things aside early will help you to reach for things that will push you through the rest of your day with ease instead of dragging you down and completely cutting off your productivity.

Many of us turn to caffeine in the morning in order to get us through the day, which turns from one cup into to several cups and so on. It’s OK to give yourself a boost here and there, but don’t rely on coffee or soda to give you what your body needs to keep going. That can only be accomplished by eating healthy fresh foods. All of us are busy, but it’s important to give yourself easy choices and to turn to foods, like superfoods, that can make you feel good. Think about dark, leafy greens, berries (like acai and goji) to give you energy, and foods like avocado and nuts that have lots of healthy fats to keep you going.

Exercise to Prevent Burnout

Lastly, let’s talk about exercise. It has been proven that working out, even if mildly done, can improve overall cognitive function and reduce signs of fatigue. This means that if you haven’t already started to work in a little bit of activity into your weekly routine, you should start to think about forms of exercise that excite you. This could mean simply going for a long walk, hiking, biking, or swimming. Anything that keeps your body moving is great for your focus and productivity.

In addition, recent studies have shown that individuals who are able to take their exercise outside have increased benefits to their workouts. Getting active outdoors provides greater relaxation, ease of tension, reduced anxiety, anger, depression and confusion, as well as feeling much more revitalized. This means that not only will you be able to properly reboot your brain in order to more acutely focus, but you can also expect to feel less stress and negative effects that can be associated with a busy lifestyle.

There you have it! If you’re concerned about feeling drained, tired, and mentally sluggish during the week, take a look at the areas of sleep, exercise, and food in your life. Undoubtedly, most of us need a reminder every once and a while and can use a bit of a refresher when it comes to our routines. Use these ideas to take advantage of these all areas of your life and give yourself every edge when it comes to your focus and productivity.

About the author: Trisha is a writer from Boise, ID. She is a dedicated vegan, an avid gamer, cat lover, and amateur SFX artist. You can find her on twitter @thatdangvegan or check out her blog

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