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The Science of Cognitive Performance and Improving Your Focus

Do you sometimes feel that your life is a constant state of distraction? See the ways that you can improve your focus below....
The Science of Cognitive Performance and Improving Your Focus
Written by Brian Wallace
  • The science of cognitive performance has become an increasingly intriguing topic, as more and more Americans are losing their focus to everyday distractions. In fact, the human mind has been found to wander for nearly 50% of the day. Are you feeling distracted? There are several explanations as to why many people across the country are feeling this way. Let’s explore how to improve your focus below.

    Distractions are Everywhere

    First, we are constantly fighting against digital distractions. Research shows that we receive up to 10,000 marketing messages every day and nearly 100 phone notifications per day. These constant interruptions divert our already short attention span; So much so that the average office worker is interrupted every 11 minutes, and 98% of the workforce is interrupted 3-4 times per day. This lack of focus is more costly than many realize. Email and phone call distractions lead to a temporary ten point drop in IQ, and time lost to digital distractions can cost over $10,000 per person per year. Digital distractions also interfere with our circadian rhythms. Studies show that we are raising the most sleep deprived generation in history, and 3 in 5 adults say they are more tired than ever before.

    Bottom line, our environment has become the enemy. These distracting surroundings lead to impaired focus, reduced executive functioning, lowered attention spans, and brain fog. More specifically, it takes a full 23 minutes to recover from a distraction, and distractions lead to twice as many errors in work. In addition, the average person now has less than a 10 second attention span. Finally, elevated brain levels of inflammatory markers have been associated with both physical and mental fatigue. 

    Food and Drink Used to Improve Focus

    Almost half of millennials have reported using food and drink to improve their focus. However, one of the last things that the world needs is more caffeine. People consume millions of liters of caffeine and sugar in an attempt to enhance focus. The most popular products that help to achieve this are energy drinks, coffee, and caffeinated teas. While regulars will cite numerous benefits of consuming these products, these sources aren’t all they have cracked up to be. While many claim a feeling of increased alertness, elevated mood, and better aerobic endurance, 4 in 10 people have experienced adverse events from conventional caffeine sources.

    Caffeine provides energy, but not focus, and has the capability to alter sleep schedules, build a tolerance, and even decrease productivity. In addition, relying on caffeinated food and drink for focus is not sustainable in the long run. Several of these products are unhealthy to be intaking in such quantities. In addition, caffeine has even been found to be linked to long term health concerns like poor heart health, digestion issues, and a heightened risk of dementia. 

    Fortunately, there are other methods of cognitive enhancement that are much more natural and are rising in popularity. Biohacking is a DIY approach to improving well-being that involves behavioral changes and environmental shifts. Nootropics are a natural supplement that work with the brain to improve cognition. It is also promising that many consumers already prefer natural substances to artificial ones, with 60% believing that they are healthier for the body.

    Bringing it All Together

    Brain health is physical health, and it is becoming increasingly more clear as to why many people are starting to prioritize their mental well-being as much as their physical well-being.

    How Focus Can Improve Your LifeProvided by: How Focus Can Improve Your LifeProvided by:

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