13 Ways to Supercharge Your Focus, Increase Motivation and Boost Drive
The following article is based on excerpts from Ben Angel’s book, Unstoppable: A 90-Day Plan to Biohack Your Mind and Body for Success. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound. And stay tuned for The Unstoppable Journal, the only journal of its kind based on neuroscience, psychology and biohacking to help you reach your goals.
Most of us have a good idea how to stay healthy and stay focused during stressful times, but there are 13 surefire ways you can supercharge your focus, increase motivation and boost drive for yourself and your employees. Be sure you are incorporating these into your weekly agenda.
Recent studies have revealed that a fun workplace makes for happier and more satisfied employees. Workplace fun has been linked to:
- Enhanced motivation.
- Increased productivity.
- Reduced stress.
- Higher job satisfaction.
- Improved task performance.
Even if you have a small group of employees, you can build in social time to help alleviate stress and build camaraderie.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the top retail spaces put money into their playlists, ensuring an experience that will impact the mood of their shoppers and their purchasing behaviors. But it doesn’t have to be curated by a full-time branding music director. Studies have shown that playing music in the hallways and conference rooms helps to bring a cohesiveness, especially during cooperative work or when moods are dipping due to deadlines and projects.
You can plug in some chill-out music, but do be aware that studies have proven that instrumental music over lyrical gets more thumbs up for focus and attention at work than soundtracks with lyrics and various voices. Keep it to a light instrumental to get your employees tapping their toes and keyboards happily.
It’s not a far-fetched idea to realize many people meditate to give themselves a competitive edge. However, studies are now proving that meditation can contribute positively to life in the workplace. In analyzing 10 empirical studies carried out in North America, Europe and Asia, meditation not only benefits personal mental health, but it can impact social relationships, as well as alleviate role conflicts and benefit organizational innovativeness and development.
Setting up a 10-minute break in the morning and mid-afternoon can spearhead your workplace into a powerhouse of creativity and productivity.
Visualization is a powerful daily practice that you can use to give your brain a roadmap for success. Studies have shown that the brain can’t distinguish between a real memory and an imagined one. This means when you vividly imagine something coming to fruition, you can create new neural pathways that are going to give your brain a real clear point of focus.
I’ve used my special visualization technique for more than 10 years immediately before speaking on stage in front of thousands of people and right before conducting television interviews so my brain knows what to do and when. It also takes out any fear you may have, because you’ve rehearsed what has to happen so your “monkey mind” doesn’t get the best of you.
How can intermittent fasting help your bottom line? Everything from balanced energy, focus and brain clarity can occur when you take a long break between eating a meal the night before and breaking your fast 16-18 hours later. We are learning that intermittent fasting helps the body’s major systems like digestion take a break to allow the “cleaning crew,” or autophagy, begin once most people have gone past the 12-14-hour mark. Not only does the body get rid of dysfunctional cells, it boosts human growth gormones and increases the number of mitochondria to transform our body into a better burning machine.
This topic usually elicits a visceral response to those that have to work with several devices during their work day. But can you even remember life when you weren’t connected? The newest research in human behavior has generated a lot of data proving the negative effects being constantly “connected” has on our human psyche, sleep, connectedness and well-being. Tendencies such as FOMO (aka fear of missing out) and sleep deprivation from overexposure to blue-light are all having an impact on our daily productivity and performance.
However, there are apps now that can limit your screen time or pause your work so you can take a break, stretch, do yoga or take a power nap. Learning how to work with technology to your benefit will help your performance in the long run.
It can be daunting to fit exercise into our already busy schedules, but now there is proof in that pudding showing that exercise can boost job performance substantially. A study done by Briston University followed 200 participants during their work week and compared data on days they worked out and didn’t work out with their daily performance levels at work. Participant scores were 21 percent higher for concentration on work, 22 percent higher for finishing their work on time, 25 percent higher for working without unscheduled breaks and an incredible 41 percent for feeling motivated to work.
That is enough proof to have your company build a gym in the coffee room instead.
Your mom was right: Napping is just plain good for you. A nap between the hours of 1-3 p.m. for 20 minutes can restore alertness, enhance performance and reduce mistakes and accidents, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Can’t fall asleep because you’re too worried about not waking up? Using Jody Hatton’s YouTube channel to program your power naps will guarantee you’ll get into a deep sleep and wake up refreshed from six-minute (or longer) naps.
For most of us, a cold shower doesn’t sound appealing, but to ward off sickness, it’s becoming the norm for many not wanting to lose days off work. If children in the Netherlands can do it, so can you! And of course it was a Netherlands study that proved a routine hot-to-cold shower resulted in a statistical reduction of self-reported sickness from work. After a hot shower, participants chose (depending on ability and health) to have a 30-second, 60-second or 90-second cold shower afterwards.
So next time you’re feeling that cold come on, test out a chilly shower to lessen time out of work.
According to Harvard Health research, including certain foods in your daily diet can help your heart, blood vessels and brain. Green leafy vegetables, fatty fish, berries, tea, coffee and walnuts are all on the peak-performer’s shopping list these days. Notice these foods are all natural and not high in simple sugars, which slow down our cognitive functions at a high rate.
In my last article, I listed important supplements that can decrease depression and anxiety while boosting your productivity. These were absolute game-changers for me. If you’re feeling depressed, fatigued or dealing with brain fog and anxiety, look into having your essential vitamin and mineral levels checked. Having any of these deficient in your body can mimic mental illness, which can be corrected if you get yourself on proper supplementation.
According to the 2017 Handler Report, “Insomnia averages $3,500/year per employee in added health care costs and lost productivity.” In other words, getting a good night’s sleep can save you in the long run. Although our modern conveniences help us in so many ways, making these small tweaks can enable better sleep performance correlating to better workplace productivity:
- Lower room temperature to 65-68 degrees.
- Purchase room-darkening shades.
- Limit blue-light exposure up to two hours before bed.
- Take Ashwagandha an hour before bed to lessen cortisol and boost relaxation.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption.