Does your cat leap onto your laptop in the middle of an important email? Does your dog start barking during your Zoom meeting with your supervisor? Does your neighbor fire up their noisy lawnmower just as you’re crafting a presentation? As soon as you sit down to hit your to-do list, does your mind start wandering to the dishes that need washing or that TV series you started binge-watching the night before?
Count yourself among the millions of office workers who are suddenly struggling to figure out how to be productive while working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re used to the structure and flow of going to an office every day, you may find it difficult to get things done while sitting on the couch with your laptop. Especially for people with ADD who are easily distracted and prone to procrastinate, working from home can sabotage your output.
Although some states are beginning to re-open, not everybody will be returning to their office soon. In the meantime, adopt a Warrior attitude and fight back against distractions. Here’s some simple tips to help you stay focused and get more done—no matter what kind of chaos is going on around you.
1. Stay focused on the positive. Rather than dwelling
on what’s difficult about working from home, focus on being grateful that
you’re still employed. A positive mindset helps you cope better with everyday
stresses like inconsiderate neighbors.
2. Listen to music. If noisy distractions—cars whizzing by, the neighbor’s dogs barking, or construction projects—are keeping you from staying on task, turn on some music. Find a genre and volume that works for you, whether it’s loud rock music to drown out the noise or soothing sounds to calm you. If you find lyrics distracting, BRIGHT MINDS Memory Rescue Music includes instrumentals that are scientifically designed to help improve focus, creativity, memory, and more.
3. Light a fragrant candle. Many studies have found that certain scents have properties that can provide many benefits when working from home. For example, research shows that cinnamon improves attention, alertness, and working memory. Peppermint enhances clarity of thought and may be helpful when brainstorming. Citrus fragrances like lemon and forest scents like pine promote concentration. Lavender reduces emotional stress, and rosemary fights mental fatigue.
4. Sip a cup of tea. Green tea contains a compound called L-theanine that helps you relax and focus at the same time. In addition, green tea contains catechins, including one called Theogallin, which when combined with L-theanine, improves attention, according to research in Nutritional Neuroscience.
5. Squeeze a stress ball. These squishy balls can
help you concentrate, relieve tension, and take your attention away from
6. Get moving. Exercising on a regular basis improves the brain’s ability to focus, stay on task, and ignore outside distractions. Start your day with an activity that gets your blood pumping and when your mind starts to wander, take a quick 10-minute break to get moving. And considering a Stanford study found that walking boosts creativity, try having “walking meetings” rather than always sitting down while you’re on the phone.
7. Consider supplements to stay focused. Natural supplements, such as ginseng, ashwagandha, green tea extract, rhodiola, phosphatidylserine, pycnogenol, zinc, magnesium—some of the ingredients found in Focus & Energy and Attention Support—boost attention, mental focus, and concentration. In addition, numerous studies have found that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids reduces symptoms of inattention in people with ADHD.
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