There’s no denying we’ve all been through a lot. The pandemic has pulled many of us away from family and friends. An economic crisis has made even the most gainfully employed feel a bit shaky about the future. And after a seemingly never-ending election, it's safe to say our nerves are a bit frayed.
The truth is that many of us are mentally exhausted. According to Big Think, it's a natural side effect to long-term stress. It can affect your physical and emotional well-being too, causing you to feel physically exhausted and mentally cloudy. Which makes it increasingly hard to focus—especially on your work when there are distractions just a tap away.
Laura Stack, an in-demand productivity expert who works with Fortune 500 companies, says that setting regular work hours is one of the most important ways to make sure you're staying productive when working from home. She suggests setting hard boundaries for work tasks, just as you would in a traditional work environment. That means being showered and dressed at a start time. And while breaks are good, don't let them get out of hand by going over 30 minutes. These simple deadlines will not only help you stay on task, but they'll prevent your work day from encroaching into your personal time.
Uncertainty can be the enemy of productivity as well. When you feel unfocused, getting started can be overwhelming. If you're struggling, it might be that you're unsure about what needs to be done to complete your work. When you're working at home, it can be harder to get quick answers to reduce this uncertainty. When people aren't sure about the next steps, it's easy for them to procrastinate. A University of Sheffield study found that people “experience unpleasant feelings related to a task that they can't tolerate or manage.” Make sure you've got all the necessary information gathered before starting and to manage eventual roadblocks, put together a list of reliable people you can contact to get clarity.
And finally, you want to make sure you're mentally in the best shape to focus. Which is why nootropics are a growing category in the field of supplements. They can give your brain the boost it needs to function at maximum capacity. Or that's the hope. Of course, like with anything you put into your body, the ingredients matter—a lot. We recently got a chance to try Brain Drive by Momentous, a brand known for their transparency and high-potency hand-sourced ingredients.
The first thing we could tell after consistently taking Brain Drive for two weeks? That we actually felt something. When you swallow a supplement, you do so in good faith hoping it'll do its job, right? But an hour after taking Brain Drive you'll notice a slight boost in optimism and energy, combined with a more intense focus—without the jitters and sugar crashes often associated with coffee and energy drinks. It's more measured. You'll feel “in the zone.” We could suddenly handle everything on our increasingly long to-do list with a cool, calm determination. Which, when combined with the steps above, is now our WFH game plan.
Brain Drive, $55 by Momentous
TimeCube, $25 by Datexx
When working alone, taking breaks is important. So is avoiding distractions. We've talked about this simple, graphic timer before, but nothing else has been as effective or satisfying. It almost turns productivity into a game.
TimeCube, $25 by Datexx