We live in a busy world. Often times, we rely on stimulants like caffeine to get us through. I know I certainly do. However, too many stimulants can cause problems. As someone who struggles with adrenal fatigue, I know all too well what it’s like when your body is out of whack.
Over the long term, this can cause health issues. That’s why it’s also important that we find natural ways to improve concentration. Here are a few places to start.
Stick to natural forms of caffeine (in moderation).
Caffeine from coffee and tea isn’t necessarily a bad thing. These drinks actually have antioxidants in them and even come with a few other health benefits. However, you do have to drink them in moderation. Too much caffeine can actually cause you to lose concentration because you are antsy.
On the other hand, artificial means of caffeine like sodas and energy drinks can present a problem. There is zero nutritional value to these and they certainly won’t help improve concentration.
While multi-tasking may seem like an efficient way of moving through the world, it’s not. It may seem like you’re getting a lot done, but you’re probably not. The reason is that your attention is split among different items. This means it’s actually harder for you to concentrate and do a good job.
The best way to combat this and improve concentration is to focus on one thing at a time. For example, I like to use the batching method of productivity because it makes me focus on similar tasks.
Resting is actually an effective way to improve focus. In the culture of busy, we often brag about how little sleep we’re getting. This is actually counterproductive to helping us get things done. Not to mention it’s also really unhealthy.
Think of your mind like a tech gadget. If a tech gadget isn’t working, you can often fix it by turning it off and restarting it later. Your mind and body work the exact same way. That’s why it’s important that you’re getting adequate rest. Here are some ways to do that:
- Taking frequent breaks throughout the day to recharge.
- Creating a work schedule based on your natural body rhythms. For example, I’m not an early morning person. However, some of my best creative work happens mid morning.
- Setting a cut off time where you stop working. I, for instance, do not work at night because then I have a difficult time falling asleep. I need to give myself ample time to unwind.
- Meditation and other mindfulness practices
Exercise may even be a form of rest. Or, at the very least, it’s a form of unplugging from the world and taking a break. For example, when I do SoulCycle they force us to leave our phones in the locker. This is so we can give ourselves the time to enjoy the workout.
When you add in natural ways to improve concentration, you no longer have to rely on artificial stimulants. You will also find that you are able to accomplish more and feel better. In the cult of busy, taking care of yourself is radical, but it leads to more success.
Amanda is a best-selling author of "Make Money Your Honey", a book that helps freelancers and business owners understand their relationship with money and how to make it more productive. She's driven by helping others live the most productive and fruitful way possible.