Over the past decade, our culture has come to value productivity and focus above nearly everything else. In order to be successful, we are encouraged to work hard and stop at nothing until we reach our goals. But the reality is that our brains are not wired for this kind of constant focus. They need breaks in order to stay healthy and happy—and the more breaks they get, the more productive they’ll be when you do ask them to focus! So it turns out that taking regular breaks isn’t just good for your brain: it’s also good for your career. Here are five brain hacks you can use today to help your brain recharge so you can keep focusing and be productive—also feel great while doing it:
Start Each Morning With Exercise
You know that exercise is good for you, but did you know it can boost your brain power? Exercise stimulates brain activity and increases blood flow to the brain. It also helps manage stress, anxiety, and depression by increasing levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
Exercise is one of the best things we can do for our mental health! Exercise makes us feel happier because it releases endorphins—our happy chemicals—into our bloodstreams. These hormones help us feel less anxious, keep our brain more relaxed, and are even known to improve our moods as well as manage depression symptoms in some people.
Exercise has also been shown to have positive effects on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In fact, children with ADHD who participated in an exercise program had better academic performance than those who didn’t participate in an exercise program—this shows that even though you may be diagnosed with a “learning disability” you can still learn when your brain receives proper stimulation through exercise!
Don’t Break Your Fast too Early
One of the most important habits to get into is eating breakfast. This meal is the most important meal of the day because it kickstarts your metabolism and gives you energy for the day. It should be eaten within an hour of waking up, and it needs to be high in protein and fat, low in sugar and carbohydrates, and high in fiber.
To make sure that you don’t break your fast too early (which will disrupt your circadian rhythm), set an alarm on your phone or computer at least 15 minutes before you want to wake up—this way you can go through a quick routine without having to rush through everything crazy early in the morning!
Get More (Good) Fats in Your Diet
Good fats are the unsung heroes of your diet. They’re good for your brain, heart, blood pressure, and metabolism. On top of that, they help keep your skin looking young and supple, boost energy levels, and improve mood.
Good fats are found in fatty fish such as salmon (omega-3), walnuts (omega-3) avocado (oleic acid), olive oil (monounsaturated fat) as well as nuts like macadamias or almonds. But if you’re not keen on eating these foods then there are easy ways to get more good fats into your diet without even noticing it:
- Add some nuts to cereal or yogurt instead of granola
- Use avocado on toast instead of butter or margarine
Use nootropic herbs.
Nootropics are “smart drugs” that improve your brain function. They can be used to increase focus, attention span, memory capacity, creativity, and even mood.
This is where nootropics come in: they help you overcome the negative effects of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to increase your productivity and overall quality of life. Nootropic herbs have been around for thousands of years because they work—and they work well!
There are many different types of nootropic herbs that can improve your brain health by balancing out certain neurotransmitters such as dopamine or serotonin (there are also chemicals called endorphins). It is recommended that you take these herbs regularly over time until you experience full benefits from them. Once you find what works best for you it will become easier to implement into your daily routine so that each day becomes more productive than before!
Write Out Your Critical Tasks Each Hour
One of the most effective ways to achieve your goals is by writing them down. When you set a goal, write it down and schedule a time for it each day. This process provides a sense of urgency and clarity about what needs to be done—and when.
By writing out your critical tasks each hour, you can stay focused on the big picture of what matters most at any given moment. Here’s how:
For the daily level: Write down your most important task(s) for today or tomorrow; then prioritize them into three categories: Critical Tasks, Important Tasks, and Optional Tasks (or whatever works best for you).
For the weekly level: List out all of your tasks before making any commitments outside this list; then prioritize them into three categories just as above (Critical Tasks, Important Tasks, and Optional Tasks). For example: Monday I’ll talk with my manager about my goals for next quarter (critical); Tuesday I’ll review our current marketing campaign with our team members who are responsible for executing it (important); Wednesday I’m going grocery shopping after work so we can prepare dinner together as a family tonight! Sounds great 🙂 It would be fun if everyone could make it though… If not then maybe we could reschedule? Let me know what works best because either way sounds great 🙂
For the monthly level: Make sure all items from last month’s list have been completed before adding more new ones; otherwise, add those first things first! Look back over past months’ lists as needed but don’t dwell too much on them… Focus forward not backward!
Eliminate Pointless Distractions
When you are concentrating on something, there are many things that can distract you in the background of your mind. These distractions make it harder to focus on what you are doing, and they make the task feel more difficult than it needs to be. To improve your ability to focus, first eliminate all pointless distractions by turning off notifications, social media updates, and alerts, television channels (including infomercials), radio stations playing music or talk shows/news reports (distracting commercials included), turning off computers and phones—especially smartphones with access to email functions—and so on.
If you have any active light sources in a room where working on a project is taking place (for example: overhead lights), turn them off as well; they may seem like they’re helping because they’re brightly illuminating an area but this light will actually cause eye strain and prevent people from seeing detail clearly. Instead of bright fluorescent lighting try installing soft halogen lamps which provide enough illumination without causing too much glare or discomfort for those who work in close proximity over long periods of time like authors do during book writing sessions.
Set Small Daily Goals
- It’s important to set small, achievable goals.
- The more goals you can achieve, the greater your sense of accomplishment will be.
- If you accomplish one goal every day, it will add up and give you a great feeling of success.
- Ask yourself what small steps are needed to achieve each goal.
- Set aside time every day for completing these tasks as well as creating others that might be challenging but rewarding at the same time (a good way to do this is by setting aside 20 minutes before bed).
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is vital for brain function, but the recommended amount varies by person.
Some people may need less than six hours of sleep, while others require nine or more.
You can improve your quality of sleep with a few simple tips:
- Avoid caffeine after 2 p.m., as it can disrupt your nighttime rest and make you feel groggy in the morning. Try drinking decaffeinated tea or coffee instead.
- Turn off TVs, computers, and other devices before bedtime; they emit blue light that mimics sunlight, disrupting your body’s natural ability to fall asleep at night. Instead of looking at screens before bedtime, enjoy reading a book or listening to music instead!
- Exercise regularly—but not within three hours of going to sleep at night; exercise tires out muscles and makes people sleepy!
As you can see, some of the simplest strategies for improving your focus and happiness in life are also some of the most effective. By practicing these brain hacks every day, you will notice a significant improvement in your concentration and productivity, as well as an increase in overall happiness.