Staying focused and concentrated when working can be a challenge, especially in today's fast-paced world that is full of distractions!
But there are several practices you can implement to improve your focus and concentration when working on those tasks that need all of your attention. Even more importantly, these simple steps can help you to stay focused and complete those simple tasks that seem to be taking way too much time too!
So, we will explore five practices that can help you stay on task and get more done. Plus, we will look at some of the herbs that you can use to keep your mind on target in more detail:
1. Mindfulness meditation:
This is a great one to do before beginning a big task. Mindfulness meditation is the practice of being present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus, and increase concentration. The great thing is that you don't need long! You can start by taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on your breath.
By practicing this form of meditation we are exercising our brain's ability to maintain focus, whilst also clearing away anxiety. Anxious minds are the enemy of mental clarity and focus, so if this is where your focus falls make sure to practice mindfulness, even if it's just a couple of minutes a day.
Regular physical activity can help to improve focus and concentration by increasing blood flow to the brain and releasing endorphins, which can help to improve mood and reduce stress. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day.
Of course, your own exercise plans may be much more ambitious than this. If you are pushing your physical boundaries regularly, make sure to alternate days of intense exercise so you have enough energy left for your mind!
3. Get enough sleep:
Adequate sleep is essential for maintaining focus and concentration. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night and, most importantly, try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Consistency is the key to a good sleep - we are rhythmic creatures and our sleep cycles are of high importance if we want to perform mentally the next day. Furthermore, when we sleep our brain subconsciously uses this time to organise and save our memories of the day just finished making it a cornerstone of our memory as well.
4. Herbal supplements for focus:
Certain herbs can be effective for improving focus and concentration, and have been used to do so for many thousands of years. Ayurveda looks to Ginkgo Biloba and Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi) to aid those with memory issues, to improve nervine signalling and focus. These herbs are neuroprotective, which means they keep the information flowing around our body's circuit board, making them a great tool for productivity.
Another herb that is revered for its ability to help one focus is Lion's Mane. This shaggy white mushroom has powerful neuroprotective properties that are used by many to improve mental clarity, focus and brain health. The reason that it is so powerful is because it contains unique compounds called erinacines and hericinones that promote neuron health.
Coffee - it gets a bad reputation because it can cause peaks and troughs, but it can improve focus. Our tip is to stable the highs and lows by adding adaptogens like Chaga mushroom and blend with ghee for a really creamy coffee. Or, if you are looking for a simple caffeine-free alternative try Rosemary, either as a tea or in our Wild Wisdom tincture. Rosemary has been used traditionally to improve mental clarity as it helps to improve blood flow to the brain.
5. Take regular breaks:
Taking regular breaks throughout the day can help to refresh your mind and improve focus and concentration. Set a timer for 25 minutes of focused work, then take a 5-minute break. Repeat this cycle throughout the day.
The bottom line... staying focused and concentrated when working can be a challenge, but there are several practices that you can implement to improve your focus and concentration. You can easily make space for these practices to improve the time that you spend on the tasks you need to focus on the most, and you will be a more productive person as a result.