1. Work when you want
I was going to write “work first thing in the morning” because that is what works best for me, but in truth everyone is different. Really, if you find yourself in the moment and able to concentrate, whether it is at the crack of dawn or deep in the night, you might as well just run with it. But do try something different to what you are used to because you never know how it might work out.
Exercise helps improve circulation to the brain, and by facilitating the detoxing process it gets rid of “brain fog”, allowing deep concentration for longer.
3. Quit caffeine
Don’t think caffeine is having much of an effect on you? Try going without and see how to feel. If you feel fine on or off it then you’re one of the lucky ones. I’m not and know that daily caffeine over about 50 mg really affects my ability to concentrate because it send me into flight or fight mode, and that is not at all useful whist sitting in one place and trying to finish a task.
4. Focus on one thing at a time
Truth is, you are only ever really focusing on one thing at a time, but our attention is able to switch so quickly from one thing to another it can seem that we are able to focus on multiple things at once. We often try to “multitask” because there was once a time that buzz word was seen as a positive thing (and something women proudly claimed to be best at). But it’s not efficient. Whenever you catch yourself trying to work on more than one thing at a time take a deep breath, relax, and imagine your outstanding tasks as grains of sand passing through an egg timer. Only one can go through at once, trying to push 2 through at a time takes much longer.
5. Get the right nutrients
Be careful to make sure you aren’t lacking any vital nutrients, or you’re fighting a loosing battle. Ideally, get everything covered using food rather than supplements. Eat lots of vegetables, especially green ones, and choose organic where possible. Take a fish oil supplement and a quality multivitamin – food isn’t what it used to be (even organic) so it’s prudent to ensure you’re not missing anything.
6. Create your ideal work environment
For me it’s a clean room, relaxing music or the TV on quietly in the background, and a pot of green tea.
7. Use the Pomodoro Technique
Put simply, set a timer for 20 minutes and work on a task, then take a 5 minute break. During that 20 minutes shut of all distractions. Close your email, Facebook, and set your phone to go to voicemail.
8. Work while listening to Binaural Beats
I often use Deep Concentration to quieten my mind while I work. It lasts for 30 minutes so sometimes I use it instead of the 20 minutes advised by the pomodoro method, and then take a 10 minute break.