Productivity
How to step up your productivity while working from home

Working from home can be liberating, but it can also make it harder to keep your productivity levels optimal. Nootropics can help to boost your focus, cognitive function and health for professional success – no matter where your desk is.

Over the last few months, millions of us have suddenly found ourselves working from home for the first time ever. Being able to go to work in your pyjamas may feel like a dream come true but, as many of us are finding out, making the switch from office to the bedroom is trickier than most people anticipated.

You may still have deadlines to hit but, without the threat of your boss wandering over to peer over your shoulder, it can be all too easy to stray off-topic. This is especially true in our current extraordinary circumstances when sensationalist news stories are flowing thick and fast, and new developments arise faster than you can hit refresh.

So, what can you do to stay productive when you’re battling the dual distractions of social media and a well-stocked refrigerator?

Now more than ever, people are turning to nutraceuticals to help them stay on track. These potent adaptogenic remedies have been used in traditional medical systems for millennia, but have only broken into the Western market in recent years.

As nootropics grow more popular among busy professionals, a new wave of scientific studies has emerged to test the claims behind their benefits – with promising results. So, how can nootropics help to boost your focus, cognitive function and overall productivity when you’re working from home?

 

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Nootropics for focus

Even if you manage to block out the endless whirl of news updates and memes, working from home can bring a whole set of new distractions to the table. With no-one to see you slacking off, you may find yourself gravitating towards the sofa and fridge with increasing frequency. Obviously, this makes it a lot harder to hit your targets. The quality of your work may also start to slip as a result of your lack of focus, and your professional performance will inevitably suffer.

Staying focused when working from home has a lot to do with setting yourself a routine, allocating an ‘office space’ and practising self-discipline. And all this can be made a lot easier with the help of certain nootropics.

Guarana, Panax ginseng and Vitamin B12 are three nutraceuticals that have all been found to improve focus, energy levels and productivity. Guarana has been proven to have an even greater stimulating effect than coffee,[1] while B12 can help to boost concentration.[3] Panax ginseng has long been used as a cognitive aid in traditional Chinese medicine, and modern research has found that it can enhance both mental performance and focus.[3]

Nootropics for motivation

It’s easy to become demotivated when working from home. Maybe it’s because there’s no-one ‘checking in’ on your progress, or perhaps it’s harder to feel like part of a team when you aren’t at the office.

Whatever the reason, it’s common to feel like you’ve lost a sense of purpose with your work when you’re sat at your desk alone. Once again, a disciplined work schedule can help you to feel more tuned into what you’re doing, but nootropics can give you the edge you need to engage with (and enjoy!) your job.

Bacopa monnieri and phosphatidylserine have both been found to have a positive effect on motivation when tested in clinical trials. Phosphatidylserine can help to reduce inattention and impulsivity while improving your mood,[4] and B.monnieri can give your overall cognitive function a much-needed pick-me-up.[5]

Nootropics for immune health

If your health takes a nosedive, you can expect your productivity to flatline. When your body suffers, so does your mind, and it can be virtually impossible to work to your full potential when you’re battling aches and pains (and maybe even a cough and fever).

Fortunately, there is a great deal you can do to keep your immune system healthy, which is essential for helping your body fend off viruses. Healthy lifestyle choices like eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and sleeping well can all work wonders, and certain nootropics can also help to improve your immune function.

Vitamins such as B12 and B6 are vital for supporting a healthy immune system,[6] and minerals like magnesium can also improve the strength of your immune system.[7] Some adaptogens, such as Rhodiola Rosea, have also been found to promote antiviral activity in the body, which can help to protect you from invading pathogens.[8]

 

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Nootropics for stress and anxiety

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and, in these troubled times, a lot of people will be experiencing a sharp spike in their stress levels. Life, as we know it, has changed, and with every day bringing new developments it can be easy to let your brain pinball between breaking news stories, thoughts of loved ones and the global economy.

Stress and anxiety are the antitheses of productivity, however, and racing cortisol levels aren’t going to help you excel at work. Mounting stress levels can make it impossible to focus, but certain nootropics can help to bring your body back to a state of physiological calm.

Studies have found that daily supplementation with adaptogens such as Gotu kola can help to alleviate depression and anxiety.[9] Rhodiola Rosea has also been found to reduce symptoms associated with stress,[10] and has been used in this way for centuries in traditional medical systems around the world.

 

Conclusion

Working from home has countless benefits, but it can be tricky to get into the swing of things at first. For those new to the home office, maintaining your focus, motivation and productivity can be hard work, especially if there’s no-one checking up on your progress. Unfortunately, if you don’t get on top of things, it won’t be long before your professional performance starts to freefall.

By improving your concentration, reducing stress-related symptoms and helping you to stay motivated, nootropics can help to keep you on track for success. When taken daily, a nootropics stack can have a range of benefits that can keep your mental and physical health at optimal levels, so you can stay productive wherever your desk is.

 

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Moustakas, D., Mezzio, M., Rodriguez, B., Constable, M., Mulligan, M. and Voura, E. (2015). Guarana Provides Additional Stimulation over Caffeine Alone in the Planarian Model. PLOS ONE, 10(4), p.e0123310.

Mayer, G. (1996). Effects of Vitamin B12 on Performance and Circadian Rhythm in Normal Subjects. Neuropsychopharmacology, 15(5), pp.456-464.

Kim, H., Cho, J., Yoo, S., Lee, J., Han, J., Lee, N., Ahn, Y. and Son, C. (2013). Antifatigue Effects of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. PLoS ONE, 8(4), p.e61271.

Ahn, J., Ahn, H., Cheong, J. and dela Peña, I. (2016). Natural Product-Derived Treatments for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Safety, Efficacy, and Therapeutic Potential of Combination Therapy. Neural Plasticity, 2016, pp.1-18.

Kumar, N., Abichandani, L., Thawani, V., Gharpure, K., Naidu, M. and Venkat Ramana, G. (2016). Efficacy of Standardized Extract of Bacopa monnieri(Bacognize®) on Cognitive Functions of Medical Students: A Six-Week, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2016, pp.1-8.

Qian, B., Shen, S., Zhang, J., & Jing, P. (2017). Effects of Vitamin B6 Deficiency on the Composition and Functional Potential of T Cell Populations. Journal Of Immunology Research2017, 1-12. doi: 10.1155/2017/2197975

Publishing, H. (2020). What you should know about magnesium – Harvard Health. Retrieved 30 March 2020, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/what-you-should-know-about-magnesium2

Ahmed, M., Henson, D., Sanderson, M., Nieman, D., Zubeldia, J., & Shanely, R. (2015). Rhodiola rosea Exerts Antiviral Activity in Athletes Following a Competitive Marathon Race. Frontiers In Nutrition2. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2015.00024

Lokanathan Y, Omar N, Ahmad Puzi NN, Saim A, Hj Idrus R (2016). Recent Updates in Neuroprotective and Neuroregenerative Potential of Centella asiatica. Malaysian journal of medical science, 2016. (1):4-14.

Olsson, E., von Schéele, B. and Panossian, A. (2008). A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Study of the Standardised Extract SHR-5 of the Roots of Rhodiola rosea in the Treatment of Subjects with Stress-Related Fatigue. Planta Medica, 75(02), pp.105-112.