SUPERCHARGE YOUR BRAIN: 3 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Focus and Concentration


Researchers have found that the average person’s attention was 12 seconds in 2000, but it’s just 8 seconds today. The average goldfish: 9 seconds. Wow. Human beings are officially less focused than those tiny fish you carry home in a plastic bag from the carnival.

I don’t need to convince you that our world is becoming increasingly congested, noisy, and hyper-stimulating. Even if you live in a relatively quiet city like Fargo, it’s not always easy to tune out all the distractions. My house is in the flight path for Hector Airport, and near Essentia hospital, so I hear planes and helicopters on a regular basis, though it doesn’t bother me. I’m happy for travelers and patients getting where they need to go safely and quickly. But even noticing can zap focus.

And with our phones continually pinging, our stuffed email inboxes, and overloaded schedules, it’s tough for our brain to stay focused and work efficiently.

Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to supercharge your brain and dramatically improve your focus and concentration. Here are three particularly fun things you can try, and all of these are safe and effective for grown-ups and kids, alike!

1.) Switch to a better music playlist.

What if a team of neuroscientists created a type of music that’s specifically engineered to help you focus and work more productively? Well… that’s exactly what happened, and the result is an online streaming music platform called focus@will.

You can sign up for a 15-day free trial (with no credit card required) and take over 50 different music channels for a spin. Each channel features music that’s designed to increase beta and theta brainwave activity, which makes it easier for you to slip into that “flow state,” where you feel fully engrossed in your project, and where ideas flow effortlessly and time seems to soar by.

I have a few friends and colleagues who rave about focus@will, including Susan Hyatt, a life coach, author, and public speaker who is one of the most productive, energetic people I’ve ever encountered in my life! This music site is definitely worth checking out.

2.) Inhale an invigorating scent.

Studies have proven that certain fragrances like rosemary, sage, peppermint, and eucalyptus, can boost your memory, focus, and concentration. They can even help kids perform better on exams at school.

Rub a few drops of essential oil into your wrists, just like perfume, and inhale deeply. Or, massage a few drops of essential oil into your scalp while you’re in the shower for a steamy, energizing brain-boost first thing in the morning. You can also try an all-natural toothpaste like JASON’S Powersmile. Why not start an indoor herb garden in your office and grow some fragrant herbs right by your desk? It’s a great way to bring some aromatherapy into your daily routine. Plus, who doesn’t love a little extra greenery?

3.) Stop multi-tasking and start batching.

“Batching” is a productivity technique that’s incredibly simple, yet so effective. To try batching, you clear a block of time on your calendar (say, 2-3 hours) and then you use that time to work on one type of task. Not multiple tasks, just one.

I have to batch getting my medical charts done.

For example, you might spend 2-3 hours writing blog posts, answering emails, entering data into a spreadsheet, meeting with patients/clients, or organizing your closet. You’ll find that it’s much easier to focus and work efficiently when you “batch” similar tasks together—kind of like baking a big batch of cookies all in a single session rather than trying to bake one cookie at a time.

My friend Melissa Cassera wrote an e-book all about batching, which you can grab for free when you sign up for her mailing list. She’s a highly entertaining writer, and it’s a fun, quick read!

Hmm… suddenly, I am craving warm cookies! Maybe chocolate chip cookies infused with fresh peppermint? I could bake them while listening to a neuroscientist-approved music playlist, and I’ll be setting myself up for a super-focused day. I like the sound of that!

I’m wishing you a positively beautiful and highly productive week. IAf you made it all the way to the end of this article… congratulations! Your attention span is significantly longer than average. At least longer than a goldfish. ;)

Dr. Sue


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