1) Does music help increase focus levels?
Despite what the 4 million other blog posts on the subject say, listening to music whilst trying to work can be one of the worst things you can do for your attention levels.
I’m sure we’ve all typed a message or email to someone while listening to a song and found the last word we typed was not the one we wanted – but rather the last word the singer just sung!
“Focusing all your attention on what’s coming out of your headphones gives no room for the mind to wander. Over time, this lack of headspace hinders memory and problem-solving” says sports psychologist Victor Thompson.
Tests done on drivers listening to music while driving found those subjected to soaring rock and metal music gradually began to drive more aggressively and erratically, whereas those given classical and jazz music drove defensively, cautiously, and safely.
Personally, I nearly always work in silence, but if I do have music on I’ll ensure it is minimalist (uplifting Lounge/House music or Blues instrumentals) and I NEVER play music with lyrics my ear can pick up on.
For you young’un’s who also like dance music, I advise you skip working to music that builds up and features ‘drops’.
Instead, listen to artists/DJ’s who play off a continuous beat – with little to no peaks and troughs in tempo or volume that can grab your attention constantly and cause micro distractions from what you are doing.
For those that like something easier going, the YouTube channel ‘Strive With Me’ features real easy laid back music to work to.
The channel has helped me greatly as working from home alone can cause issues with motivation and focus.
But the lady that owns the channel doesn’t just play relaxing music – you watch her study/work too along with the music.
So it is like having a work colleague in the room with you and I find it really helps me get through those days when we simply aren’t up for it.
“But surely music helps enhance a workout right?”
Likely not if you’re serious about getting in shape. In Arnold Schwarzenegger’s classic 70’s bodybuilding documentary ‘Pumping Iron’, big Arnie explained he always shut out noise and music and only ever focused on how the muscles he was working felt.
He explained during his chest training that he imagined his pecs inflating and filling the room as he pumped iron on the bench press. As 7 times Mr. Olympia, his tactics are not to be scoffed at.
There’s also a lot to be said for enhancing results through the mind-muscle connection as Arnie did.
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation discovered in test subjects that simply mimicked flexing their arms while tensing the muscles, 5 times a week, increased actual strength by up to 13.5%! – No weights needed!
Infamous British serial killer Charles Bronson built himself an incredible physique while in solitary confinement by tensing his muscles and doing the same exercises in his mind as he would if was holding heavy weights in his hands.
Rumour has it, when Bronson was allowed access to pens and pencils he would hold one in each hand as if it was a dumbbell and slowly bring his arms up under tension – fooling the muscle into thinking there was a large dumbbell in teach hand.
Try doing 10 bicep curls now with nothing but a pencil in each hand, yet imagine those pencils weigh a ton. Keep your mind focused solely on the bicep and tense hard as you curl your arms slowly (count to 10 as you raise them) as if it really was a heavy weight.
So long as you keep the muscle tensed (as if posing) you WILL tear the tiny muscle fibres and have your muscles growing bigger – with no need for expensive equipment.
This exercise alone is like meditation and can also strengthen neural pathways associated with focus and concentration.
Try working, training, or studying in silence. While at first it may seem uncomfortable, or that the boredom causes the mind to wander, after around the 10 – 15 minute mark you should find yourself deeply engrossed in what you’re doing without chance of distractions.
2) Get your temperature set for success
Room temperature can play a huge role in how our brains function – and more importantly – how easy it is to focus.
Dunn and Dunn of Learning Styles conducted controlled tests on 52 students under three different room temps: 64, 72, and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
In all tests conducted, the students scored higher marks during the tests in the room set to 72 degrees Fahrenheit – the other two temperatures distracting student’s thought processes as the body tried to adjust to being either too cold or too warm.
So if you dream of launching your own business and running it from your laptop on the beach, you’ll likely fail due to the heat alone!
In other studies, having greenery such as plants within your peripheral view when working has shown to increase productivity in studies by up to 15%.
If you’d like to see 36 other tips for setting your home or office space up for maximum productivity then check out my monster blog piece here: Productivity Tips: 37 Point Desktop Makeover – Project Noo You
3) Take the secret ‘God ingredient” to enhance brain power (Via increased ATP energy)
I know what you’re thinking… “MARK! There is an amazing ingredient you haven’t told us about?! And why isn’t it in Nitrovit?!”
Well yes, there is a secret ingredient – also known as the ‘God ingredient’ – that I take daily, but have had to leave out of Nitrovit. That ingredient is called Creatine and is usually found on the shelves of bodybuilding shops and health stores.
So why isn’t Creatine in Nitrovit? Well, it takes between 3 – 5 grams a day of this marvellous substance to reap the benefits and that would require another 8 – 10 capsules per day on top of the 3 Nitrovit caps you should already be taking.
While we are looking to stock our own Creatine in the coming future, you’ll need to go to your local health store to pick this up for the moment.
Creatine has long been known to be a muscle building tool in much the same way protein is and has plenty of robust research to back up the claims. But Creatine also enhances core brain functions…
You see, the body and brain are powered off one very powerful energy source; Adenosine Triphosphate – or ATP – and as the day progresses we deplete this vital power source.
A fat sugary coffee has long been known to provide (fake) energy with little true benefits. While caffeine does a good job of temporarily increasing blood flow and Dopamine – a hormone that plays a major role in memory tasks – no amount of caffeine will ever provide the ATP ‘currency’ the brain needs to function optimally.
Creatine on the other hand is very different. Neuroscientists at the University of Chichester in the UK discovered Creatine made ATP resynthesis more efficient – thus boosting Dopamine levels.
On top of that, it slowed Dopamine depletion which lowers mood and increases stress and anxiety – all being serious focus blockers.
One 3 – 5g scoop in the morning with your 3 Nitrovit capsules can provide a full day of unbroken focus and learning – with better retention on learned topics.
As with all new supplements, try it for 30-days before assessing and I think you’ll find your energy and motivation levels to be off the charts.
So, there’s 3 little tips that might be worth you looking into further if you are struggling to find your mojo while working from home, or when it comes to getting your body in shape.
A short read, but all 3 are simple to action and if you want to go further down the rabbit hole, check out the blog post I did on setting up your work space for maximum productivity: Productivity Tips: 37 Point Desktop Makeover – Project Noo You
Until next time we speak, I wish you a happy and productive month ahead. Thanks for reading and stay well.
All the best,
P.S. If you’ve made it this far congratulations and thank you again.
I’ve activated the code: big30 for the next 24 hours and only you know about it 😉
So at checkout use the code: big30 and enjoy 30% off my Nitrovit focus formula.