Ideally, when experiencing situations or strict deadlines, we have thought about working with hyperfocus for hours on end without ever losing concentration and doing our best work. Sadly, our brains are not programmed to work effectively that way because we cannot hold attention for a long period of time. Being highly productive, focused, and efficient when brain fog happens is difficult to overcome; however, by completing the following hacks you can increase concentration.
Multitasking vs. Prioritizing
Multitasking can make you feel productive; however, it actually takes longer for your brain to switch between tasks as you struggle to keep the details straight.
Walking through this simple exercise can help illustrate the difficulty and provide insight into how to prioritize tasks. Take a scratch piece of paper and a pen, while timing yourself — write the word multitask at the top of the page, directly below the word write the numbers 1-9. How many seconds did it take you to complete both of these tasks? Next, time yourself as you write the first letter of the word “multitask” and the number one, followed by the next letter in the word and the next number, in chronological order (i.e. M1U2L3T4I5T6A7S8K9). How many seconds did it take you to complete this task? It should not come as a surprise to note the latter exercise takes twice as long.
It is difficult for the human brain to switch from letters to numbers quickly without getting distracted. Staying focused on one task at a time increases concentration, saves time, and naturally allows your brain to work more efficiently. Each task will become clear because your brain has had the ability to refocus and solely work on it in greater detail.
Brain Training For Sleeping
Struggling to get to sleep because your brain cannot focus or shut off due to the relentless chatter and negative thoughts? An effective way to quiet the chatter is to (while the lights are off and you are lying in bed), close the right eye and then try to focus the left eye onto a point of light or shadow and not lose focus on it. High concentration is key, here. The reason to start this exercise with the right eye is that the human brain is programmed, and it will affect the way the body reacts.
When closing one eye and increasing your concentration, it shuts the vision receptors down in half of your brain and causes the other half to work harder without being able to use the entire brain. This causes your brain to stop the chatter or eliminate the negative thoughts because it is trying to figure out why half of the resources are not in operation.
While this technique can be applied when sleeping, therapists and optometrists use it to also help generally in relationships, insomnia, ADHD, OCD, and improving vision.
Schedule Your Concentration Blocks
Disconnect or unplug to become more productive. Limit the number of times you check your phone, email, or social media by scheduling periods of time where you can have access. Start by monitoring your behavior and making little changes to reduce brain fog and increase your concentration. Study how you spend your time, each day, and see what activities take up the most time.
It is said your brain can start to get distracted or even wander after twenty minutes. If you are studying or need to keep your attention towards a specific task, start by breaking the activity into short 20-minute intervals, spaced out with five-minute breaks. Be completely dedicated to the task for 20-minutes, not stopping until the timer goes off. After four sessions or tasks, take a longer break. Breaking up the amount of time spent on a task helps your brain by releasing a consistent amount of dopamine and allowing you to feel accomplished for completing a task. Productivity will be increased as each job can be accomplished better and faster.
Redesign Your Physical Environment (Clutter and Light)
Evaluating and adjusting your physical environment can influence how productive you are and your ability to concentrate clearly. Becoming more aware of your physical surroundings whether it be in your home, apartment, or workplace will maximum concentration and eliminate distractions.
Remove the Clutter
Stress the mess, as there is a correlation between mental space and physical space. Start in a small concentrated space by removing unused or unnecessary items.
It is easy to get in over your head, but remember to start in a small area, make it a daily habit, and make small adjustments to create clear thinking.
Adequate lighting is key to increased concentration whether it be inside or outside. Light affects the amount of melatonin your body produces resulting in productivity and your overall well-being. Having access to natural light can help you become more alert and productive in your daily tasks. When using technology, ensure your eyes don’t get too tired from high concentrated exposure and possible glare. Prevent flicking overhead lighting at home or in the workplace.
Investing and implementing different types of lighting throughout your space in accordance with the sun, also known as hygge — a Danish idea, increases concentration as your body can naturally adjust to the changes in light. This concept will allow you to have a healthy start and end to your day, minimizing brain fog and creating a sense of comfort, by allowing your body to be in-tune with your biological clock as the day turns to night.
Applying the simple hacks for brain fog will not only increase concentration but will help you become more productive at home or in your workplace. Your mental health will be clear and focused making it so you can be more efficient in your daily tasks.
Lit Living is healthier lighting for healthier living. Operating under the Danish principle — hygge, our lights are patterned after the sun’s natural light cycle and will adjust with you, so you can concentrate effectively but ensure comfort throughout the day. With innovative solutions that many people would never think of, we can bring natural light solutions into your home, apartment, or workplace.