Your ability to focus on a task until it is complete is one of the greatest indicators of your future success. All millionaires and billionaires have mastered the art of single focusing on one thing until completion before they move onto the next task. However, we live in a world that is full of distractions and notifications that are constantly vying for your attention.
Your brain is simply not equipped to deal with the massive number of ‘shiny objects’ that are perpetually trying to disrupt your focus. Learning to become the master of your brain instead of its slave is no easy task.
But, with a few simple hacks, you can quickly take charge of your mind and develop laser-like focus.
1. Start Each Morning With Exercise
One of the most important things that you can do for your brain and your overall well-being is to start every morning with exercise. You don’t have to go to the gym and spend 3 hours pumping iron like Arnold in his prime either. Simply getting the blood flowing for 20 minutes will sufficiently spark your mind and help you develop stronger focus throughout the day.
Some great activities to try are; swimming, racquetball, yoga, or cycling. These exercises are relatively low impact on your body and are a heckuva lot more fun than mindlessly running on the “dreadmill” each morning.
2. Don’t Break Your Fast too Early
If you have been following the health and fitness or biohacking industries in recent years then you have inevitably heard about the phenomenon called intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting, or IF, is a fairly simple concept. For 16 hours out of the day, you fast completely and then consume all of your calories in an 8-hour window. It is actually a lot easier than it sounds and has numerous benefits.
Outside of the benefits to your metabolism and fat loss goals, IF actually helps you to have more focus in the morning because your body is not wasting precious energy digesting foods.
Instead, it can allocate all of those resources to helping you concentrate on the task at hand. The best way that I have found to do IF is to skip breakfast, instead drinking 1-2 cups of black coffee, and then break your fast around 1 p.m., eating your last meal around 9 p.m. If you do this, your focus will shoot through the roof.
3. Get More (Good) Fats in Your Diet
The human brain is made up of roughly 60% fat. That’s pretty considerable when you think about it! This poses a problem for the people who have been proponents of low fat diets throughout the years.
You see, your brain needs lots of good fat to function properly. One of the best ways to quickly improve cognitive function and thereby your focus is to get more fats in your diet. If you are following intermittent fasting then I recommend that you eat a lunch that has at least 30 grams of fat in it. Nuts, avocados, eggs, and coconut oil are all great ways to get healthy fats into your diet and help your brain run more smoothly.
4. Use nootropic herbs.
Recently I’ve been testing with the herb licorice root through a friend’s recommendation and has gotten great results. It contains glycyrrhizin, a compound that stops brain fog, cloudy-headedness, afternoon fatigue, and sleep disruption by preventing the breakdown of adrenal hormones such as cortisol.
The way I take it is in tea form. I basically just boil it in hot water and drink it daily. There are other herbs with brain function enhancing properties you can test your self such as schizandra and ginkgo biloba.
4. Write Out Your Critical Tasks Each Hour
One of the best ways to keep your brain focused is to write out the tasks that you want to accomplish within the next hour and then time how long it takes until completion. By writing out your key tasks each hour, you will refocus your brain on most important projects, and by timing yourself, you will add a sense of urgency that will help you stay focused.
5. Eliminate Pointless Distractions
I really shouldn’t even have to say this. If your phone is constantly buzzing with new Snapchat notifications and your computer continually dings with new updates on your Facebook feed, then how in the world do you expect to stay focused?
You need to eliminate all pointless distractions. This means that, while you are working, your phone is on airplane mode, your computer has all notifications disabled, and you clearly inform coworkers that you are not to be disturbed.
6. Set Small Daily Goals
Having huge, game changing goals is great. Everyone should have a bigger vision for who they can be and what they can achieve. But staying focused on a 10-year vision is no easy task, especially when trying to get through the tiring minutia of the day. Whether you are bogged down with content marketing, emailing annoying clients, or writing new content, it can be easy to lose focus on the bigger picture.
Instead of focusing on your big, long term goals, start setting small daily goals. By focusing only on what needs to be accomplished in any one given day, you will set yourself up for success. Achieving small daily goals will wire your brain for success and trigger the reward mechanism, releasing dopamine when you accomplish your goal.
This will help you stay more focused and increase the odds of you achieving tomorrow’s goal.
7. Get Enough Sleep
Nothing will ruin your focus more than consistent sleep deprivation. Some of the most successful individuals in our modern business world have attributed much of their success to sleeping 8 hours a night. You need to sleep more if you want to achieve maximum focus. This is true for everyone ranging from jet lagged digital workers to corporate executives.
Try and get 7 hours of high quality sleep per night minimum.
Mastering your focus is not an easy task. We did not evolve to cope with the massive number of distractions that we face in our daily lives.