Focus, concentration, is key to success in anything you do. When the word “Hack,” comes up, some people automatically think of the word hacksaw. A hacksaw is used to swiftly cut through a piece of metal, like a rusty bolt or a piece of metal piping that you need to quickly shorten.
This special report provides “25 Hacks,” better known as quick methods, tactics, or special tricks to improve your focus.
The hard work is done for you. Just go through the list of 25 hacks and pick the ones that make sense for your situation.
1. How is the lighting in your work environment?
Do you suffer from strained eyes? Bad lighting can decrease your focus. If your office has blue light emitting fluorescent bulbs, that may be the cause of why your eyes feel so strained. Constant exposure to blue lighting has been proven to be one of the main cause of early eye aging. While Yoga pouches can refresh your eyes, they cannot stop the strain or the aging. One solution is to take a supplement called, “Lutein Soft Gel.” These capsules will help to sharpen your vision, so that you can focus better. The product will also work to prevent premature eye aging.
It is possible that you already take a number of supplements and perhaps even medication and don’t want to add more pills/capsules. In that case, you can consider getting a pair of special pair of glasses that filter out that blue light that can cause issues. One pair that you might consider is “True Dark Daywalkers.” They sound pretty sexy. These glasses work to filter out harmful blue light emitted by man made sources and will be great for keeping eyes from getting strained while focusing on computer work.
2. Email can be a blessing and a curse.
Sometimes you get an email regarding a sale you had been waiting on and other times it’s a serious customer complaint. The actual best time to view emails is at the end of the work day when your focus is low and all you need to do is skim through the email to get the idea. As well, leaving your emails until the end of the day gives you time to get over any frustration while you make your way home. Reading emails at the start of the day can totally disrupt your thought process and cause loss of focus. There are some hacks that you can use to help.
First of all, setup folders to move mail into, such as “to do later,” “make money,” or “needs attention” Setup an automatic reply in your email system, so that if you know you have a day that requires total focus you can ignore emails and relax. The automatic message should advise people that you are currently working hard on solutions and that you have been notified of their email and will respond. This message will help ensure that people don’t think you’re ignoring them. By so doing you’ll cut down on multiple resends as senders try to get your attention.
3. Would you like to increase your focus at work by 50% and get some other health benefits?
Then consider ditching that office chair and switching to a large medicine ball. A lot of people, right away, imagine trying to balance on the ball and see themselves falling off. There are many types of these large ball chairs that have backs and handles. They are quite stylish, and you won’t be embarrassed to have one at your desk. Balancing on a large medicine ball while working on your laptop increases your focus as you need to keep your torso straight. Sitting on the ball also improves your stability and balance. Your low back is supported by a number of muscles and the ball will help tone your abdominal muscles as you focus on proper sitting and staying alert.
4. A new wave is coming; it’s called “bring your pet to work.”
Many large companies have already seen the benefits of allowing employees to bring their pets to work. It’s been found to reduce stress, increase production, and help people to focus. You may find that you are less stressed if you are able to pet your cat, take it for a quick walk and not have to work about your loved one being home alone. Studies have shown that non-pet owners in an office usually take to have a cat or dog around and benefit from increased happiness and focus as much as the pet’s owners.
5. Don't be afraid to dream big.
Besides looking at your beautiful face in the mirror every morning before heading off to work, there is another thing you should focus on. What is your big dream or thing that you would love to own or do in the future? A trip to the Islands or perhaps a huge house with a pool? How about that sports car that you keep looking at, everytime you drive past the high-end dealership? Take a picture of that dream or item and have it blown up into a larger, framed photo. It has been shown that when you have a huge goal and you study it constantly and have it memorized, your brain gets focused on how to make it come true. Think how excited you will be to arrive at work and put in the focused time and effort to make your dream come true. There are courses to help you imagine, envision, and manifest the future you desire. Knowing you’re on track to achieve worthwhile goals will help you focus all by itself.
6. Do you have some down time from work?
Or maybe it’s the weekend and you still need to focus and plan things out in your mind. While your spouse is at the mall or engaged in a sports activity that perhaps bores you a bit, use the time wisely. Have a look at SimplyNoise.com or check out this offering at Amazon. This company provides a variety of white noise products that are scientifically engineered. It will help eliminate crowd noise, while you can close your eyes and start focusing on what your plans or goals are and how to achieve them.
7. Setting up your work environment for focus and success is essential.
Are there items that bring you joy? A picture that has great meaning, an orchid that has blooms that fill your heart? How about 3-5 books that have great significance on how you conduct your life? These items should be placed on or around your work environment. The joy that these items give you helps you to be in the proper mood to focus. If you arrive and sit down in a drab work space, it is very difficult to put yourself into a focused and productive state of mind.
8. Not everyone can work in silence.
You need to find what your element is. Some people find working in a coffee shop helps to focus because of the coffee grinders and blenders. They find a pleasing feeling from around 70 (decibels) of noise. If you are not able to use a coffee shop to work, then have a look at using streaming services that provide “recorded coffee shop sounds.”
9. For some, music is a great focus tool.
Again, you need to explore and find what music works best for you and what you can listen to in your work space. Not everyone will appreciate hearing your rock and roll if that is what gets you focused. Headphones may be required. There are other forms of music that can help with focus. Spotify and Pandora have a free service that you can choose from. Alternatively, you can head over to Brain.fm and browse their paid selection of focus related music.
10. Is your brain working at maximum potential?
Having trouble keeping focus and need a solution? There are supplements available that work well with your brain and one of the most popular is called, “Brain Octane Oil.” Your brain runs on glucose, however if ketones are available, it will grab onto that first. Ketones work to give you energy and focus. The Brain Octane oil is capable of bypassing the liver and go to work right away by getting into the blood stream and straight to your brain. A great way to pump up your energy production right away and get total focus.
11. Do you love coffee and the energy burst it gives you?
Some folks like to add a shot to their coffee and the (baristas) have shot bottles lined up just like a bar. Natural boosters are much better and can work longer. Try adding real vanilla to your coffee as it has anti-inflammatory properties and is a stress reducer. Stress and pain affect your ability to focus, so work on it with natural vanilla.
Cinnamon rolls look and smell great, but they are extremely fattening. Add a touch of real cinnamon to your coffee instead. Studies have shown that the scent of cinnamon will help with alertness and focus. Sniffing cinnamon while doing a task can help with focus and give an instant memory boost. The ancient Egyptians were wise. They prized cinnamon over gold because of all the healing and health benefits. Ancient wisdom can really help you with your health overall.
12. Don’t put the gum away while you try to focus on work.
Chewing gum keeps oxygen flowing and helps you to stay alert. As an alternative with side benefits, you can also chew licorice root. You can get licorice root from various health stores and the juice that is produced can help with stomach issues. Fresh parsley works the same way as gum and is great way to freshen your breath at the same time without any sugar.
13. Make short lists to post over your desk.
You can write a “Read this later” list or an “I need to stop” list. Think of what habits you have that stop you from focusing and put those on the list. Then beside those, put the habits you want to develop, habits that will make you focus on what you need to do.
14. Make your bed.
This might make you groan but the military swears by it. They say that if you make your bed first thing in the morning, it will help you focus and generally setup your day in a positive way. You can take this a step further. Besides making your bed by just pulling the covers up, really focus on tightening up all the sheets and shaking out that pillow. Take a potpourri with Frankincense and put it just inside your pillow case. Frankincense helps with alertness and focus. You can even put a little bowl of it on your work desk to keep for a boost.
If you are not good at delegating tasks, make this a goal. At work and at home, you need to delegate tasks that you have difficulty with so that you can focus on what you do best. At home, if grocery shopping is always a distasteful task because you tend to overspend or buy the wrong items, delegate that to your spouse and choose a household task that you can focus on. If you don’t have a spouse or your spouse doesn’t care to shop either, hire someone to do it for you. The productivity you gain and the money you don’t spend on impulse items may very well make that a profitable decision. Same thing at work. If the phone is a big part of your job and you find dealing with customer complaints drains you and your focus, delegate that and focus perhaps on making sales calls because you enjoy the challenge.
At work and starting to lose focus? Try acupressure points. They are easy to manipulate, and this can be done right at your desk. Here are four spots to focus on.
- Use your index fingers and place them just at the backs of your ears. Trace upwards until they meet in the center at the top of your skull. There is a little indentation right there. Press downward and breath gently in and out.
- Lay your index fingers flat across the tops of your eyebrows. The top of your index finger is the line you draw mentally across your forehead. Right in the center point, is where you place the point of an index finger and apply pressure. Breath gently and slowly in and out.
- The next point is the spot between your eyebrows. It is the small indentation that is just between your forehead and the very end of your nose. Apply pressure and breath gently and slowly in and out.
- The last point is under the nose. To find it, place your index finger at the top of your lip and run it up the groove that runs from the lip to the bottom of your nose. The point is located two/thirds of the way up from the top of your lip. Again, apply pressure and breath gently, in and out.
Want to lose weight and focus better at the same time? Intermittent fasting can help you with that. People that do intermittent fasting find that they are much sharper in the mornings and their focus lasts longer throughout the day. Depending on your health as it stands now, you need to pick a fasting schedule that works for you.
You can start on a Sunday and after a healthy lunch only drink water with lemon or green smoothies until bedtime. When you wake up, have your coffee or two, with a pinch of cinnamon for extra clarity. Then have a very light veggie lunch, followed by plenty of water until you have a late, light dinner.
If necessary, shorten up the fasting time. On Sunday, have dinner and then just water until bedtime. Upon waking, go with the coffee and eat a healthy lunch early at 11:00 am. Fasting is something you can play around with and by all means, check with your doctor and explain your strategy.
Nootropics is another big thing that has become popular and people in internet marketing are doing well with niche sites on Nootropics. Basically, Nootropics are brain boosters, like caffeine or supplements. Here are several that you can try for clarity, focus and productivity.
- Licorice root makes for a great tea and has the properties needed for that brain boost. Simply dice it up and boil in water, then strain and sip on it throughout the day. It has a nifty sounding compound called, glycyrrhizin. This also helps with brain fog, something that suffers of fibromyalgia suffer from. It also works to prevent fatigue, which in turns lowers your ability to focus.
- Phosphatidylserine is another mouthful to say. However, this supplement is FDA approved for cognitive deficit and it sure to help with focus.
19. Qi Gong
Starting to lose focus and no room to do a Yoga pose? Then this standing Qi Gong exercise will help.
Stand with your feet apart. You are about to “Knock on the Door of Life.” Put your hands behind your back just above the joints that are at the back of your hips. With the back of your hands, start gently slapping at those joints and work your way up the outside of your spine as far as you can go.
After doing this for a few minutes, use your hands to rub down the area you were striking. Your back area is now warmed up. From here, you begin to rotate your torso back and forth in a twist while gently swinging your arms and striking at the area of your kidneys. It does not hurt and invigorates that area.
Now start swinging your arms so that they go from the kidney area to the belly button area. The next continued motion has you swinging and slapping the area all the way up to and on top of your shoulders. This exercise will bring you a great sense of joy, clarity, and focus.
20. The Power Nap
Power napping is great for relaxing your brain and putting yourself into neutral. Try and find a quiet area at work or in your car, where you can power nap for 20-30 minutes so that you can reset and focus. Power napping is huge in Japan and some American companies are getting on board with power nap rooms or power nap pods.
A great purchase for your office, if possible, is the Energy Pod Napping Chair. While not an inexpensive option (at least, not for the majority of people), this reclining chair allows you to sit back with your feet elevated for a relaxing power nap. It has a shield that drops down for privacy and to block out a lot of office light. It is a powerful way to enhance productivity and focus.
21. Smiling is something that will keep you happy and focused.
However, like everything else, smiling needs to be practised until it becomes a habit. Smiling engages different nerves and muscles, which in turn help to release natural pleasure chemicals into the body. Smile into your mirror at home while getting ready for work and have a nice framed mirror in your office to gaze deeply into. Smile and your boost your mood and focus.
Are the walls in your office the color of some old battleship or the halls of your junior high school? If so, this could be a reason why your mood is not great and focusing on tasks is hard. Lots of studies have been done on colors and specifically how they relate to our moods. Consider repainting your office a leafy green or sky blue. Those two colors are mood enhancers and will do wonders for your ability to focus and be productive.
Do you slump at your desk and eat cold pizza for lunch? Use your lunch time to rejuvenate your mind. Pack a healthy lunch with water. Try to eat outdoors and wear headphones if necessary. While at lunch, pull out a nice journaling book with a colorful hard cover. Grab your favorite color pen or sharpie and start journaling. Write down the great things that happened to you since you woke up.
On your drive or ride to work, did you come up with some new goals or dreams? Put them into your journal and add some doodles that match. Journaling frees your mind, sparks creativity, and can help you focus on what is important and right with your life.
24. To be focused and challenged get into a flow state.
We are goal seeking systems that feel happy when we are focusing and succeeding. Growth occurs when we pick a new challenge that is just a step above our given abilities. Work on a new challenge until it becomes easy and then pick a new challenge. Pick challenges that require focus, like learning PowerPoint or learning a new language. The more you work on how to build focus, the better you will get at it.
25. Bad Habits
Do you have bad habits at home or work? Get a partner and discuss which habits you need to change. An example might be, you lose focus at work and flip the browser to Facebook. Your partner spots this and calls you out on it. Now you must pay a penalty. Out of your pocket comes one dollar and it goes into a special jar. Make a game out of it. Of course, the idea is to develop better habits and learn to focus and be productive. It takes practise and if you end up with a jar full of money until you get better, donate that to a charity.
Practise what is called active listening. Focus on what other people are saying. Jot down some notes. Listen intently as to how they phrase their sentences. By doing this, you not only practise “how to focus,” but you can also listen for golden nuggets of wisdom. The things you learn from people who are successful at work and are wonderful at focusing in on their goals and productivity can only help you in reaching the same goals.
Some helpful links from the above article: