Often I find myself in a situation where work needs to get done but my brain simply isn’t cooperating in the focus department. I’m not talking about the lack of will power here, instead of that feeling of being nearly brain dead where even a simple puzzle seems like a monster obstacle.
This usually happens to me either first thing in the morning, or later in the evening after I’ve been working awhile. It is especially frustrating when this occurs during a focus intensive activity, in my case, programming. I found a few ways to get rid of this feeling quickly and unfortunately only temporarily, as a way of being able to either kick start or finish off my day in high gear.
I’m sure this is your go-to as well; most people consume caffeine in the form of coffee, others like energy drinks. I’m personally a coffee guy myself, however lately I’ve been taking caffeine in pill form since it’s a lot less work and has the benefit of not yellowing your teeth. When drank in liquid form I notice that my energy levels rise almost immediately, in contrast, the pill is a little slower to kick-in. To get rid of the anxiety or jitteriness that caffeine naturally causes I sometimes supplement with L-theanine, a natural relaxant also found in tea.
Carbohydrates are what fuel the majority of people’s bodies, the exception being anyone on a ketogenic diet (fat for fuel). This macro-nutrient can come in many different forms, some of which digest very quickly, others far more slowly. Sugar, is an example of a carbohydrate that digests rapidly, especially in pure form. If you’re looking for a quick 30-minute energy boost sugar can do that for you by providing energy almost instantly, but be careful because it causes a significant crash right after. Something like a sweet potato digests far more slowly due to the carbohydrate structure and fiber content. I find that a slower digesting carbohydrate provides a more sustained energy over a longer period of time.
This one may be counterintuitive, after all, if you’re having trouble focusing and possibly lack energy, why in the world would walking help. From my experience, I found that by getting out of my seat and going for a casual 20-minute walk outside, it’s almost as if my brain performs a reset. I find myself returning to work in a relaxed state often with solutions to the problems that I was stuck trying to solve prior to leaving. Give it a try, worst case scenario at least you got a little sun and some exercise.