The end of summer brings renewed energy for the start of the school year.
That initial back-to-school excitement is powerful, yet fleeting - how can we maintain our focus at least until midterms?
With our loud and distracting world, it’s tough - but not impossible. Concentration is a difficult skill to master, but with practice, you can achieve periods of undisrupted deep work.
Read on to learn about:
- Increasing your attention span
- How to consume caffeine strategically
- Concentration hacks
How to Increase Your Attention Span
In order to concentrate on one thing, we must eliminate the need to pay attention to lots of other things.
Most people struggle with focusing because multi-tasking is second nature in our world filled with distractions.
The thing is, multi-tasking is ineffective. We might be able to do two things at once - but we're unable to concentrate on two things at once. That's why getting back into a task after someone interrupts us is difficult.
So how can we overcome our instinct to multitask and focus instead on one thing at a time? Here are some tips.
Gamify your progress.
In other words, measure your results. For each major project you want to accomplish, measure your progress. Take note of how many words you wrote within your paper writing session. Or how many pages you read per day. By measuring your progress, you ensure you're always pushing yourself to push further.
Focus on the process.
Instead of fixating on the result (getting an A in a course, losing 20 pounds, getting an article published) we must instead focus on the process. That means staying true to the processes required to achieve the result.
If we want to get an A in the course, we need to stay on top of our studies. If we want to lose 20 pounds, we need to maintain our fitness routine. If we want an article published, we must write and submit articles consistently.
In photo: Rainforest Organic Flat Bottom Ground:
Ignite your palate with this rich, earthy dark roast.
A cult classic guaranteed to warm you up on a rainy day.
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How to Consume Caffeine Strategically
If you're reading this, you likely share our passion for coffee and its ability to give your energy a boost.
But with the wrong timing and volume, our coffee intake might lead to a crash or headache... making getting work done more difficult.
Consume your caffeine more strategically with the following tips.
Timing is everything.
Consume caffeine before working on your most important tasks so you benefit most from the energy boost it provides. This goes hand in hand with planning your days strategically. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a massive to do list - choose only 1-3 major tasks to tackle each day,
Mind your personality type.
Introverted people may consume caffeine and find themselves feeling overstimulated and anxious. In this case, it's best to avoid caffeine before socially challenging activities like giving a presentation or meeting new people.
Mind your metabolism.
Research shows that it takes 8-14 hours for caffeine to metabolize out of our system. Figure out what your ideal bedtime is and don't consume caffeine within the 8-14 hours before bed.
In photo: Espresso Organic Blend:
From farm to roast to cup a lot goes into extracting the perfect espresso.
Well balanced and multi-faceted.
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Don't let distractions overcome you. We finish this article with some simple life hacks to help you increase your focus.
Spend more time viewing nature.
Schedule even a 15 minute walk to go find some greenery and soak in the natural surroundings. This is the perfect time to practice mindfulness - defined as being fully present in the moment.
If you can train yourself to be mindful, paying attention to the details of the leaves, the sunlight through the trees - it'll be easier to be mindful and pay attention to doing your research, writing a paper, getting readings done or whatever you are focusing on.
Get your sweat on.
It's no secret that exercise is vital for a healthy body... but less celebrated are its benefits for a powerful mind. So get moving and do some high intensity exercise.
Perform at least 20 minutes of high intensity movement before your major tasks.
Remove your distractions.
Turn your phone on silent. Suspend browser notifications. Install an extension that blocks your access to time sucking sites so you can focus.
Improve the quality of your sleep by heading to bed 20 minutes earlier than your desired bed time, not looking at blue light during this time, and winding down with a routine before bed. Chamomile tea is especially relaxing. You can spend this time reflecting on your day and mentally preparing for what you'd like to accomplish tomorrow.
If you work in a cluttered environment, your mind will find it more difficult to focus - instead fixating on all the things that are out of order. Tidy it up and watch your performance improve.
We hope this blog helps you find your focus this fall.
See you soon at your favourite local Bean Around the World.