No matter how amazing, skilled and talented you are, if you can’t get your mind to focus on a task, you’re not going to be nearly as productive as others who can. Staying focused is a huge obstacle to getting stuff done and being efficient with your time and resources. This can be an impediment in both your professional and personal life. The good news is that there are a few easy ways you can “hack” your mind to keep it in the best shape possible, especially when it comes to studying for exams. Check out these tips…
We’ve all heard that meditation helps to relieve stress but it can also greatly improve your ability to concentrate and stay focused. Research going back to the 1970s has shown that Buddhist monks who meditated regularly for years perform much higher on concentration tests. And meditation doesn’t have to be super intensive either. A study at UNC found that students improved performances on tests after meditating for 20 minutes a day for 4 days. It helps to strengthen the gray matter in your brain and “stretch” out those muscles that help keep your mind on track. Meditation has even started being used in school settings to help calm the minds of students and help them focus.
2. Grab some tea
Yerba mate is a traditional tea from South America that some people swear by for curing mental malaise. It gives you the same boost as coffee and also has a stimulant effect that can give your mind the pick me up it needs to make you more efficient. It’s made from dried leaves of a native South American plant called an evergreen holly. It won’t give you the same sharp rise and crash in energy that coffee does and it’s unlikely to interfere with your sleep. The tea helps to stimulate the production of dopamine in your brain, which will enhance your memory, mood and alertness.
3. Take a caffeine nap
It sounds counterintuitive but this trick combines two of the things you need most for hacking your mind: Sleep and caffeine. When you hit that afternoon lull, drink a cup of coffee and let yourself have a 20-minute nap. The caffeine takes that long to hit your bloodstream so you can doze off knowing that you’ll wake up fresh and alert after a quick power nap. Skeptical? Check out the science behind it here.
4. Brain Boosting Supplements
Just like there are supplements such as protein and creatine that help you achieve peak physical performance, there are also “brain-boosting” supplements that aid in sharpening your mind. These herbs or nutrients can work to make you feel more focused and alert and to help your mind process information faster. One of the most popular brain boosting supplements used for studying is Lumonol. This is because it includes a blend of ingredients that not only help with memory but also focus and energy.
5. Tune out the noise
Sometimes it’s not your mind’s fault that you can’t function that well – the world is full of distractions. Try purchasing a white noise machine that can help you keep your focus on track. Studies have found that kids with ADHD symptoms found white noise machines to make a significant difference in their ability to recall facts. White noise is like the static you hear when a radio isn’t tuned properly. It washes out other sounds in the room so you’re not distracted by voices, music, traffic, etc.
Studying for exams can be stressful enough. That’s why learning how to master your focus and concentration is key. Work these 5 hacks into your study routine and see if it helps improve your focus, efficiency and productivity.