Do you struggle with staying productive and actually getting work done each day? Don't worry, we feel you.
Staying on task and remaining focused can be difficult in our modern world full of distractions.
This blog post aims to help you out a little bit, and get you on the path to become a productivity machine.
These are some of the top strategies we implement to help us focus on our most important work each day.
1. Schedule your week before hand
Most people go about their day without scheduling in their week, their day or even having a to-do list. To us, this is blasphemy. How can you honestly hope to stay on task without having listed your most important tasks to get done? For those of you who 'wing it' each day. We seriously suggest looking into scheduling your days.
A lot of people are now getting into the habit of writing a brief to-do list each day before getting the day started. You can list 3-5 of your most important tasks and tick them off as you go throughout the day.
This is a good start, but we can definitely take this up a notch.
What we recommend is every Sunday, making a to-do list and schedule for the whole next week ahead. That way, you already know the exact things you need to work on each day throughout the week, and you don't have to spend each day scrambling to figure out what to work on.
You can physically write this in a notebook/diary, use a notes application on your phone, or use our favourite app, Notion, which is a great tool for scheduling and to-do lists.
2. Utilise a time blocking strategy
Time is your most valuable resource. It must be managed.
Time blocking is a method of allocating specific periods of time for which you will work on a certain task, as well as scheduling in breaks.
It's known that Elon Musk, the famous CEO of Tesla and SpaceX uses 5-minute time blocks to schedule his tasks for the day.
We don't think you have to go that far, but set aside at least 30-60 minutes per task, and focus on that task alone in that period before having a break or moving onto the next task.
A popular time blocking strategy we recommend looking into is the Pomodoro technique, which uses 25 minute working periods with 5 minute break intervals in between each working period. After four "Pomodoros" or working periods, you take a slightly longer break.
3. Remove your biggest distraction (phone, social media)
It's no secret that since the advent of smart phones and modern social media applications that our ability to focus and stay on task has gone down dramatically.
During your periods of deep work, the best thing you can do is turn your phone off completely and set it aside for a specific period of time.
If you don't want to turn it off in case of important phone calls, then you can either turn off your internet connection or simply download a social media blocking app to set when you want to restrict access to these apps.
This is so obvious, however something most of us fail to do. It's also easily the single strategy which will give you the greatest gains in focus and productivity.
4. Keep the main thing, the main thing.
In today's world, we are inundated with information, with wellness and productivity 'hacks', with opportunities and choices to do whatever we like. Most of this is just a distraction.
It has been shown that multi-tasking is detrimental to our ability to focus and stay productive.
It is so tempting to get stuck in the trap of constantly trying to optimise your performance, or trying to grow 5 different side hustles, or invest in 10 different opportunities.
Why not just keep the main thing, the main thing?
If you're trying to succeed in building a business, or getting a degree in a chosen field - then spend almost all of your time doing that thing specifically. Limit everything else as much as possible. Your ability to just sit still, focus on your most important project, and get it done is literally a superpower in the modern world.
5. Exercise and meditation
I think these are really the only other two factors that we would deem necessary to helping you actually improve productivity and work on your most important tasks.
Exercise not only produces endorphins or feel good hormones, but also can increase BDNF, or Brain-Derived Neurotrophic factor which helps stimulate neurons.
It's insane how much more "Clear headed" you feel during the day when you've exercised for the day.
We recommend at least 30-60 minutes of exercise most days. Focus on HIIT, strength training and some aerobic exercise.
Both HIIT and aerobic exercise has been shown to create the best gains in BDNF production.
Meditation is a practice which only takes 10 minutes per day, but can significantly reduce stress and anxiety, increase gray matter density within the brain, and even upregulate genes that relate to anti stress and anti inflammation.
We guarantee that getting into a solid routine and practice of meditating will make you much more calm and able to think creatively, as well as produce your best quality work.
6. Use the right nootropics
Of course this had to be in there.
We wouldn't be a great nootropics company if we didn't mention some of the great nootropics you can use to improve your focus and productivity now would we ;)
I think the easiest and most simple nootropic combination you can take for focus is L-Theanine + Caffeine in a 2:1 ratio. So for example 200mg L-Theanine with 100mg Caffeine. This is the starter nootropic stack, and its great for giving you the boost from caffeine but with less jitters and anxiety by adding in the L-Theanine.
We've already created a separate blog which covers our Top 3 Picks for Focus/energy/productivity nootropics here.
But to summarise these 3 picks for you:
1. Teacrine/Dynamine: These are stimulants with structural similarity to caffeine, but show no habituation (e.g. tolerance build up over time). They also have different peak concentration curves and half lives, so they last longer in the body and don't have as much of a "crash".
2. L-Tyrosine: L-Tyrosine is an amino acid and building block to help create dopamine in the body. Anywhere from 500mg to 2g of L-Tyrosine can help support mood as well as reduce stress in stressful environments.
3. GoMCT: This is a special form of MCT oil developed by our friends over at Compound Solutions. It is a form of healthy fat extracted from coconut oil, and can be used to help support high energy (by helping create ketones) and can help with satiety throughout the day.