I have ADHD. I've always had trouble focusing and concentrating, and I've also dealt with "brain fog", where mentally I'm kind of in a daze. It makes it tough to do schoolwork, especially challenging schoolwork like calculus that requires me to engage my brain. That's pretty much my biggest struggle with school is how to "engage" my brain. How to have a clear head, be thinking clearly and be fully engaged with the present task. I call it the "thinking outside of the box" mentality. You have to be in a specific state of mind to do that. I've experienced it before, where suddenly everything is clear and my brain is firing on all 8 cylinders, and you feel productive, energized, focused, and engaged. My goal is to be able to do that at will. Find ways to make myself productive like that. The only thing I've found so far that I know will put me there is procrastination, or any sense of urgency. I may have blown something off until the last minute, or I begin a task that has a time limit, or something comes up that is very important and urgent, a Quadrant 1 situation. Whenever I'm faced with a situation like that, something great happens. My eyes open, my head clears itself, my brain instantly kicks on and goes into turbo mode, and I'm focused, alert, and ready to go. Some people crack under pressure, I thrive under pressure. It's probably why I've always procrastinated; it's the only way I can get things done because I need to be in that state of mind. Throughout middle and high school and the first part of college, I've procrastinated on a lot. Until now. I've learned how it feels to do work before it's due, and be calm and relaxed while I'm working.
Now, it does feel a lot better to be relaxed while I'm doing work that's not due for a while. The only trouble is, sometimes I'm working and I don't want to be relaxed and laid back. I want to be engaged and alert just like when I'm under pressure, without actually being under pressure. So, I decided to research ways to improve my focus, concentration, and alertness. By themselves, each tip may help a little, but probably not by a noticeable amount. So, what I'm going to do is try them all at the same time, over the same 3 days. Each one may help a tiny bit, but I'm hoping all of them combined will result in a noticeable difference. And they're all supposed to be easy to follow. I'm not going to be working out for 3 hours a day or following some extreme diet, this is supposed to be something easy to stick with. I'll be performing my experiment over March 29-31, Wednesday through Friday.
What I'll be testing
When I searched "Ways to Improve Focus", the first thing that came up was sleep. The amount of people who are behind on sleep is surprising. So, this experiment will actually begin Tuesday night when I go to bed. I don't have class until 12:20 on Wednesday, but I've noticed if I wake up past 11, I'm actually more tired throughout the day than if I wake up earlier. So, I set my alarm for 8:30 Wednesday morning.
I'm also going to be testing my diet. I already know protein is a significant source of energy, so I'm going to make sure I get plenty of that. I've also found that carbohydrates are good for this as well, so I stocked up. Now, I've always been one of those people who doesn't care how good something is for you, if it doesn't taste good, I won't eat it. So I went to the store and stocked up. I've already locked into a few types of granola bars that I like that contain 20 grams of protein each. They're good, they can be eaten quickly, and you can shove them in your backpack and grab one anytime during the day. I bought some bananas for fast-acting carbohydrates and apples for more slow-releasing ones. This isn't all I'm going to be eating, these are just snacks.