Increase your Focus: Learn to direct Attention where it matters | Catrinel Girbovan | Skillshare

Increase your Focus: Learn to direct Attention where it matters

Catrinel Girbovan, Process Improvement Consultant PhD

Increase your Focus: Learn to direct Attention where it matters

Catrinel Girbovan, Process Improvement Consultant PhD

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
9 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Definition & Types of Attenion

    • 3. Characteristics of Attention

    • 4. Methods - The Basics

    • 5. Methods - Distractions

    • 6. Methods - Breaks, Meditation and Naps

    • 7. Nootropics

    • 8. Conclusion

    • 9. Class Project

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class


Do you struggle with maintaining focus for prolonged periods of time on tasks that demand your undivided attention? Do you feel like distractions are somewhat to blame for your lack of productivity? Do you want to learn why many of us struggle to focus in this modern age?

Focus, or attention, is often described by cognitive psychologists as our ability to actively process specific information in our environment. Unfortunately, a simplistic definition often misses the mark on how difficult it may be to implement such a concept in our day-to-day lives. Indeed, most of us have at one point or another struggled to maintain focus on tasks that demand our undivided attention.

Unlike many classes that address increasing one’s focus, this class spends equal amounts of time discussing the problem “why so many of us struggle with maintaining focus” as it does in discussing proven methods to help you improve your focus.

This class will address all these questions and present you a number of concrete steps you can take to improve your focus.

Who is this class for?

This class is an introductory level class that assumes no prior knowledge on the topic.

What will you learn?

What is attention?

How many types of attention are there?

How distractions impact your ability to focus

Concrete methods proven to help boost your focus

An introduction to nootropics – “smart drugs”

In the end, you will be better equipped to tackle your work with a renewed perspective, having understood what your limitations are and how best to create an environment primed for focus.

See you in class!



Experiment discussed in class by researchers Christopher Chabris and David Simons

Participate in the experiment

Explanation of the experiment



Song: MBB - Coconuts (Vlog No Copyright Music)
Music provided by Vlog No Copyright Music.
Video Link:

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Catrinel Girbovan

Process Improvement Consultant PhD


Thank you for stopping by! Be sure to follow to stay up to date with new classes!

My Story 

I am a Performance and Process Consultant. Having first earned a PhD in Experimental Psychology, I rely on scientific evidence to bring you emerging trends, methods that work and resources that can help you create and live your dream life.

I currently help my clients create more balance in their lives by making positive changes and letting go of limiting beliefs in their personal lives and/or in their careers. I take a proactive approach by guiding people in tweaking their beliefs and habits in order to find joy and fulfillment in their everyday lives. 

 I believe every single person has something to offer and teach to the rest of th... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.



1. Introduction: welcome to master. Your focus learned to direct attention where it matters. Hi, everyone. My name is catchall Job oven. I'm a life and business coach with a background in experimental psychology. I help my clients make the most out of their self development journey. I created this class to address a problem faced by many in all kinds of settings on a day to day basis, including the workplace, academic life and even at home. And you'll see that this clause differs from others on the same topic in that it addresses the root problem itself. Why is it that so many of us struggle with maintaining focus? And how can we overcome that? It is my deeply that in order to address a problem as large as this one, you need to spend quite a bit of time understanding the problem and sell. That is why this class begins with the basics. What is attention? How do we define focus? Once we've covered that, we're going to dive into some characteristics of the country, although you might probably be better calling them limitations and you'll see why, as we progress in the class now, it wouldn't be called master your focus if we didn't actually spend some time discussing some proven methods to help you improve your focus. But once again we're going to start with the basics, and that includes developing a solid baseline upon which we can add some of the more concrete method that we're going to talk about. Lastly, we're going to address the topic of new tropics or smart drugs and see how they relate to the class. We will finish with the class projects where I introduce you to an often neglected portion of behavior change in the cell development world and that is that a collection or behavior tracking. And you'll see just how insightful this exercise can be in bringing about some of the issues that you might be having, but not yet even aware of. I encourage you to use the Project Gallery to share your project and get the skill share community involved in getting feedback regarding some of the data that you've collected. But we do have a lot to cover, So first, let's get to the class and I'll see you on the other end 2. Definition & Types of Attenion: what is attention. Let's begin with a working definition of what attention is. According to eminent psychologist and philosopher William James, everyone knows what attention is. It is a taking possession by the mind in clear and vivid form of one out of what may seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought. It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others. In this definition, William James points out the dual nature of attention. In fact, it is not just about narrowing your focus on one particular thing. It is simultaneously about ignoring a number of other stimuli and events competing for your attention. Attention allows you to tune out information, sensations and perceptions that are not relevant at the moment. And instead of focus your energy on the information that is important. The type of attention most people think of when discussing focus is in line with William James definition, but it's also referred to as selective attention. Now, selective attention is actually one out of four different types of attention, and these include sustained attention alternating as well as divided attention. So let's quickly review these different types of attention before proceeding to how one might increase once focus selective attention, which is blocking out certain aspects of our environment and stimuli and pay attention to one particular feature. One perfect example of just how powerful selective attention can be in blocking out external stimuli is the really clever, selective attention experiment designed by researchers Christopher Sha Brie and David summits. I've included a link in the class description, and I highly recommend that you participate if you haven't already heard of it. I was first exposed to it as an undergraduate student in psychology and was quite surprised at the results and just how powerful selective attention can be in blocking out external stimuli. Sustained attention is best described as an extension of selective attention in that it encompasses all of the same characteristics, but it is stretched over time. In other words, you are able to concentrate on a task event or feature in your environment for prolonged period of time, which is what most of us immediately think of when we're trying to increase our focus. The completes Aaron tasks and projects alternating attention, alternating back and forth between tasks while giving your undivided attention to each one . It highlights our ability for mental flexibility to switch between tasks that may require very different cognitive requirements. For instance, when you read an instruction booklet about assembling a piece of aikido furniture, you are in fact learning. But then you set it aside to begin the long and gruesome job of actually assembling it. Now, in this case, you are no longer learning, but in fact, performing the actions previously learned in this sequence of events, you will be performing some back and forth between these two tasks and each time requiring your full attention. Yet very different set of cognitive abilities is required to perform each one. Lastly, divided, attention divided. Attention occurs when a person learns to perform and pay attention to two tasks simultaneously, and it is well most of us know as multi tasking. But unlike an alternating attention where you are devoting 100% of your attention to a particular task in divided attention, you are not, in fact switching back and forth between tasks. You are attempting to perform both at the same time or allocating 50% of your attention toward each task. What you are in fact asking your brain to do is the split attention. Problems in performance obviously arise when the tasks to be performed cannot function with only 50% of your attention. Driving, for instance, requires 100% of your attention. And that is why talking on the phone and sustaining a conversation cannot be executed flawlessly, as some of you may have noticed, What tends to happen is that you misson bits of information from either task. The reality is that your brain cannot in fact divide attention. 50 54. Demanding tasks which your brain actually does during divided attention is it speeds up its ability to alternate between tasks at the expense of your performance. What that means is that you are more likely to make errors on either task because a certain amount of time is required to actually reach ah, 100% focus or attention on a given task. The time to refocus convey his highest 23 minutes to reach, which means that during divided attention, you're never quite giving your brain the time required to fully focus on the task at hand. Hence why heiress tend to occur now. Divide attention can in fact, be successful when you're pairing habitual task that no longer requires much of your attention, such as folding laundry with a more demanding one, such as listening to an audiobook, for instance. Now that we have reviewed some basic definitions of the different types of attention, we already know that the types of attention now we want to prove are most likely selective as well at sustained attention. And ultimately we want to avoid dividing our attention, our multitasking. So let's move on to some interesting characteristics of attention. 3. Characteristics of Attention: characteristics of attention. In order to understand how attention works and how it affect your perception and experience of the world, it's essential to remember a few important points about attention. The prevailing view is that attention is limited. Studies have demonstrated that attention is limited in terms of both capacity and duration . As previously mentioned, we process tasks one at a time. This is also referred to a serial processing and on average, we can maintain seven bits of information within our attentional space at any one time or are working memory. When it comes to sustained attention, we average about 40 minutes before we lose focus. Now this is much shorter when we're faced with distractions. Likewise, there are circadian like variations to selective attention in that it is easier to maintain focus on a particular task early in the morning and ignore distractions, and we progressively get worse of this throughout the day. Attention can also be under voluntary or involuntary control. The voluntary aspect of attention includes the types of attention that we discussed such a selective and sustained. However, our attention is also under involuntary control. For instance, we respond to certain stimuli such as loud noises involuntarily because we're primed to respond to potential dangers in our environment. We also noticed the involuntary part of attention through a phenomenon known as mine wondering our mind wonders quite a bit. In fact, we spend 47% over waking time. Mind wondering now? What's interesting is that this, too, has recently been shown to follow a circadian like fluctuation. In that we mind wonder less in the morning and progressively more as the day goes on, with the highest rates recorded midday and again into the evening. Now this is in line with the finding that we achieve peak performance when it comes to our ability to pay attention early in the day, attention also responds to internal factors. This includes things such as interest. We pay attention to things that interest us or that engage us but also desires. Our desires will cause us to favour paying attention to some things versus others as well as motivation. Basic motives or drives such as hunger, thirst and safety will dominate our attentional focus and lastly goals immediate goals, long term goals also impact. Will we pay attention to, as we're going to see later in the class attention is a basic part of our cognitive system that is geared towards responding to external stimuli. What that means is that evolutionary speaking our potential system is geared towards survival and in that respect, gear to respond to external factors of a certain nature. We'll discuss this in the next section, but what I'm trying to get at is that we often fall prey to something that psychologist referred to as the novelty biased in that anything new and exciting will grab our attention . And this is why destructions are so appealing they're covered a novelty. Now our attentional system also responds to moving stimuli compared to stationary things as well as a repetition. Think of television ads and contrast stimuli that stands out from the background and lastly , duration. Things that last longer will catch our attention. Now that we understand some of the characteristics of attention will be better equipped to improve our focus. As now, we understand some of these biological limitations that we're working with 4. Methods - The Basics: in this section, we're going to talk about methods to help you increase your focus. But before we dive into the actual methods of boosting focus, let's quickly cover some basics. Moving forward. I would like you to keep in mind that when we talk about increasing focus, we are trying to increase your ability to concentrate and deliberately drive your attention to a specific task. The key point here is that this is in your control. More so where you choose to focus. Your attention is also important in a much broader contacts than just the immediate task that you're working on. For instance, the way you pay attention says a lot of value in a social context as well. The things that you pay attention to tell others about your values, your goals. Ultimately, your identity is shaped by where your attention lies, and we know just how important our identity is in driving our behavior. One of my favorite quotes where focus goes energy flows is a prime example of this. Your focus is your immediate reality. Your attention dictates your presence. It shapes who you are in this moment, which in turn dictates your future. The main point I'm trying to get across here is that attention ultimately is deliberate. It is a choice that you continually make, but it is also one that shapes you as an individual, and it goes much further than just the immediate focus on a task. It dictates how you tackle your goals and overall, the chief success in life. But it is also something that you can train. It's like a muscle now. Proof of that is that most people are unable to sustain attention on one thing for more than about 40 minutes, and even that is a stretch, especially with technology nowadays, So sooner or later most of us will lose focus. But people who have great focus realize when they get off track and choose repeatedly to refocus on the same task. So improving your attention span becomes a cycle of focus, distraction and refocus. And that is what these methods we're here to help you do, train your mind to refocus when need be before we proceed. I also want you to keep in mind that some of the best things that you can do to have optimal focus is to get enough good quality sleep, eat a healthy diet as well as exercise regularly and how most of you're probably feeling a pinch of disappointment upon hearing this. And I can sympathize. This is all common sense advice we've heard repeatedly over the years, and yet it remains the most valuable yet overlooked advice for most of us. Now. The methods that we will discuss in this class should be considered bonus material to help you maximize your efforts, but without a good basis in living a well balanced life, thes air going to be futile and their effects barely noticeable. So my advice to you is to begin by working on your baseline before incorporating these methods, because that will yield the best possible outcome. And creating a good baseline is also very important and that it becomes something against which you can compare your performance once you start incorporating new methods aimed at increasing your focus overall performance. Now that we've covered some of the basics, let's dive into the additional methods you can use to increase your attentional span and your focus. We'll begin with some more general recommendations and dive into more concrete ones as we move forward 5. Methods - Distractions: setting long term goals, You may be wondering what setting goals has to do with increasing your immediate focus in the long term, though, knowing what your goals are and having a blueprint for them will help direct your energy and attention in the right direction. You won't be a slave to what others believe you should be doing or aiming for. In that moment, you will be forced to question where you spend your energy and inevitably your attention and check whether this aligns with your goals or not. This will also drive your behavior in the end as well. When you start acknowledging that what you pay attention to matters that you can choose to pay attention to important long term goals rather than urgent ones, then you will direct your attention to the things I will impact your life the most and stop living in a reactive mindset. Now, if you don't already have a notebook where you have your long term goals written down, I really encourage you to take some time and do that more so. Make a habit of actually visiting these every so often, since they will directly impact your day to day focus Planning out your day and your weeks . We often think of planning as a time management technique, when in fact it is an attention management. One time is not something you own. Time passes for everyone at the same rate, but attention is all yours. For the most part, let's not forget that we naturally mind Wonder quite a bit now. How you spend its limited quantities is really up to you. By planning your day and you're weak, you are choosing where your focus goes ideally towards your long term goals, in addition to it being beneficial for increasing focus. Planning out three days is a great way to also anticipate setbacks that may eat away at your attention down the road. Eliminate distractions. If you've taken any of my previous courses in productivity, procrastination or motivation, you would have already heard, he stressed the importance of eliminating distractions to enhance productivity. I truly believe this is one of the big factors that can make or break your day when it comes to being productive or focusing on tasks that yield the desired results. But first, let's backtrack to a time in our evolution when things were somewhat simpler with respect to distractions. Why is our focus so easily distracted by technology? Researchers speculate that evolutionary speaking, being on constant alert for any environmental changes with necessary for survival. If a change was sensed, our attention was directed toward that thing. This was evolutionary, adaptive and save guarded our ancestors against predators or other environmental factors Fast forward to today's world. Many of us are under the impression that evolutionary changes within our brain follow the same rate of adaptation that technological advancements have in the last century. But the simple reality is that we're working with a brain that is not adapted for technology. That being said, we are not primed for the working conditions we currently have, which usually implies an environment filled with distractions from emails texts. Additionally, our brains air also primed for novelty. And what that means is that everything new will tend to grab our attention and distract us . Things such as task switching or getting distracted actually provides your brain with a shot of dopamine, the happy feel good neurotransmitter in the brain, which in turn primes us to repeat the behavior in the future. And this is why distractions become very addictive. It's very easy to get addicted or primed for living in a distracted world at the expense of our attention and productivity. Not only are the types of distractions that we now face different from earlier times, they have also skyrocketed in number and in frequency. A 2011 study showed that incessant flow of data, words and images. We currently face amounts of the equivalent of 174 newspapers worth a content over the course of a day. That's about five times the amount that our brains were being asked to absorb back in 1986 . Likewise, two way communication has increased by a study 28% each year on average. Furthermore, a study by Gloria Mark and her colleagues showed that while working on the computer, we get interrupted every 40 seconds on average, and we tend to switch between tasks around 566 times each day. Now, for those of us that attend multitasking, studies show that it breaks our attention and in may take up to 23 minutes to refocus on the task at hand. Think about all the time that's being lost on actually completing the work you're supposed to be doing. These results are alarming. So what happens to us when we actually eliminate distractions? Well, a study did just that. They eliminated email access at an organization, and the results show that without email, people multi task much less and had a longer task focus as measured by lower frequency of shifting between windows, as well as a longer duration of time spent working in each computer window. Now, these researchers also add that stress levels were also lowered among the participants of the study. So what type of distractions do we need to worry about? We can categorize them into categories external on one side, internal on the other. No external distractions include things such as environmental noise, which could be quite ambient. Think of crashing waves on a beach, the sauna, rain instrumental music in the background. But they could also be more violent, one would say, such as people trying toe bother you as you're working e mails, popping up on your screen phone calls or just plain notifications on your phone. Internal destructions, on the other hand, include things such as worrying to the point of experiencing anxiety, ruminating on past events exhaustion as a result of lack of sleep, poor motivation, which could be a result of doing non engaging tasks. For instance, all of the's can impact your voluntary attention and overall sustained attention when trying to focus on work. So how do you go about blocking or limiting distractions? Which need to remember is that unlike the mild destruction of nature or ambient background noise, most external distractions we talked about it suggest phone notifications require a conscious effort in order to ignore. And what that means is that your brain is working to ignore these. But it does so at the expense of your voluntary attention, which over time gets fatigued, which tends to leave you feeling scatterbrained, frazzled and distracted. So instead of forcing your voluntary attention toe battle on onslaught of distracting events, beat them back like author Chris Bailey discusses and his book Hyper Focus and do so with minimal effort by building what he calls 1/4 around your involuntary attention, in other words, prepared to avoid distractions before they even show up, since it's easier than relying on your willpower to do so in real time, Bailey further recommends creating an environment that is primed for focus. And that usually means working in a quiet setting for most of us not having the TV on in the background, turning off your smartphone notifications or even better, putting your phone out of sight for a predetermined period of time. You can also block frequently visited websites, and lastly, in order to tackle any other distractions in your environment, you can increase the time to reach a distraction to 20 seconds, which seems to be the ideal number before we give up trying to engage with it. So the take home message here is that you have much greater chance of maintaining focus on the task at hand and maintaining that sustained attention if you prepare ahead of time to deal with destructions before they even show up. 6. Methods - Breaks, Meditation and Naps: take scheduled breaks now. This may sound counterintuitive when you're taking a class on increasing focus to get more done, but let's explore the topic. Researchers don't tag, and Fred's proposed that under increased demands for attention, individual's capacity to direct attention may become fatigued. And once fatigued, attentional restoration must occur in order to return to an effectively functioning state. All this means that breaks can replenish the psychological costs that are associated with focus or sustained attention. Great news science encourages to take breaks. But what type of breaks our best on effective break as one that offers psychological detachment, which were first the mentally disengaging from work thoughts ideally taken a short walk meditating, allowing your brain to mind Wonder are all great options, I don't think I must add. But it is highly discouraged that you jump on social media during these breaks, as this does not in fact, allow your brain to rest and private from or focused work later. So trading browsing the Internet or social media for a walk can be so beneficial. If we scan the research on this topic, it seems that people report natural environments to be very restorative, compared to urban ones. And there's even evidence that the boost positive mood and increased performance on attentional tasks more specifically taking a nature walk has been shown to decrease anxiety , increase positive affect and cognitive performance. So don't be afraid to leave the office during your break. But how long of a break should you take? Author Chris Bailey recommends scheduling breaks every 90 minutes and to be consistent about taking them, even though this means breaking your focus on a task, others suggest to try toe work in 25 minute bubbles and take five minute breaks. Well, that's not all. Some suggest that you should work for 45 minutes, followed by 50 minutes of break time or you confused yet. So here's the thing. I've scanned the literature for a perfect answer, and I cannot find any research to suggest that one of these suggestions is better than the other. I would say the consensus seems to be to aim for a 15 minute break. Every 60 to 90 minutes of focused work not taking breaks can in fact hinder performance. So try to stick to your brakes as much as you think, breaking your flow, maybe worse. In the end, it seems that the opposite might be true. Start a meditation practice. Meditation can increase your mental focus period. At its core, it is a way to train the mind to focus on a specific thing such as You're breathing and no matter the distracting thoughts coming in deliberately bringing your attention back on the breath. This is one way to practice sustained attention, which is what we're after in this cloth. But how does meditation increase focus? It turns out that not all meditation practices are created equal, and it seems that acceptance is a key component of the beneficial effects of meditation on attention. So meditation increases focus by decreasing mine, wondering episodes. But Onley one, it is practised as acceptance meditation. Now, if any of you have any experience with guided meditations, you will know what I'm referring Teoh. Oftentimes, the narrator will bring your attention to the fact that your mind has probably wondered toe other thoughts. And then they will add something along the lines of Bring your attention back to the breath without judgment. And that is what acceptance refers to gently pulling our attention back without judging ourselves. For having diverted to other thoughts, acknowledging that the mine wonders and that it happens naturally with practice. What you will find is that you will be able to catch yourself in the act and bring back your attention to your breath on your own. And this is going to serve you on tasks. When you need to maintain sustained attention, you will be able to decrease pine wondering episodes and quickly refocus on the task at hand. Remember that the main goal of increasing our focus is less about having great focus from the get go and more so about being able to refocus quickly on the task at hand. If you haven't tried meditating yet, I do have an introductory class on the topic that you can look into. But there are many APS that offer a lot of guided meditations that you can begin a practice with. But lastly, I do want to add that the most important thing when it comes to meditation is to just be patient with yourself. You are not going to see changes overnight, but it does pay off in the long run. I say this because there's a lot of research to back this practice up and also as someone that has consistently done it for three years now, and so I'm a huge advocate of the benefits that it can bring to your life as well as work. One of the many benefits of the NAP is its ability to refresher voluntary attention by giving our working memory a break. Now, working memory is your short term memory and is important for immediate conscious processing of information. After a nap. Studies have shown that people tend to be more alert, more creative, learn better and retain memories better as highlighted by researchers. Unsworth, an angle working memory, is needed to maintain new and novel information in a heightened state of activity and to correctly discriminate between relevant and irrelevant information with regard to the task to be performed by preventing the interference of automatic tendencies and routines. In this sense, working memory is not directly about remembering per se, but instead of reflecting more general ability to control our attention. The thing is, though it has to be the right kind of map are natural body rhythm. The circuiting rhythm tends to dip around 3 p.m. which makes that a really great time to take a nap. Ideally, it should. Onley lost about 20 to 30 minutes because longer than that, and you risk getting into some of the deeper stages asleep. For Mitch, it's much harder to wake and might even leave you feeling groggy for an hour to once the nap has ended. Not being too long also puts you at risk of throwing half your nighttime sleep, which could leave you feeling even more sleep deprived the next day and thus defeating it's initial purpose. Back in my early college days, I was known as a napper in my circle of friends, but I used to do it all wrong, napping for over an hour each time. I now know better and personally like to send my smart watch on a timer, counting down for 22 minutes. Don't ask why 22. It was just randomly picked and it stuck, which is enough time for me to fall asleep before being woken up by the gentle risk vibration. Feeling energized and ready to do more work, I prefer that to an actual sound alarm. But feel free to experiment with different operations. Modes awaken up and even introducing background noises. Take Aubrey Marcus, for instance, CEO of on It, a lifestyle brand who likes to listen to binaural beats tracks as he naps to induce state of brain waves, which have been associated with a deep relax ation feeling. And you confined binaural beats free on YouTube, purchased them from various sources, or try Aubrey's at the link that I provided in the class description. 7. Nootropics: new tropics. New tropics have risen steadily in popularity in the last few decades, and because of that, I believe they deserve to be addressed as part of this Kos. For those that are unfamiliar with the term new tropics are substances that enhance mental ability, such as memory and attention and overall cognitive performance. There are many substances that have been termed New Tropic, but unfortunately, an actual in depth look at all of these is beyond the scope of this class on focus. That being said, I did the side to include two of the safest and most commonly used new tropic substances that have numerous studies to support their benefits and improving focus and also have a great safety record. The two new tropics with the most scientific support documenting both their effectiveness and safety, have to be caffeine and healthy. Anin. Now caffeine is the main active ingredient in coffee, as most of you know, and is the most widely consumed psychoactive stimulant worldwide. It has long been shown to prove performance, energy, motivation and concentration, with notable effects on sustained attention, alertness, motor skill, performance, mood as well as mental fatigue. The food and drug administration or the FDA estimates that a typical eight ounce cup of coffee contains around 80 to 100 milligrams of caffeine. However, many of us feel as though one cup of coffee is not enough for sustaining attention throughout the day. But this is where some of us run into one of the biggest downsides of caffeine, something many of us refer to as caffeine jitters or anxiety but can also include symptoms such as rapid heart rate and increase in blood pressure. Now these undesirable side effects are a long way from the desired effect of increasing focus and sustain attention. This is where this next new tropic comes in. Healthy anin. Lt. Anin is an amino acid that is found in tea leaves. It was identified and t by Japanese scientists in 1949 l. Thinning promotes relaxation and facility sleep by contributing to a number of changes in the brain. For instance, healthy anin elevates levels of gabba as well. A serotonin and the feel good in your transmitter dopamine. Now these chemicals, known as your transmitters, work in the brain to regulate emotions, mood, concentration, alertness, sleep as well as appetite, energy and a number of other cognitive skills and increasing levels of these calming brain chemicals promotes, relax, station and can also help with sleep. Now L thinning also appears to trigger the release of alpha waves, which enhance relaxation focused and creativity. Alpha brain waves are associated with the state of wakeful relaxation, and that's the state of your mind that you experience when you're meditating when you're being creative or letting your mind wander in day dreaming. And what's interesting is that lt anin is so appealing because it works to relax without actually sedating. And so it doesn't actually make you drowsy. Overall health union reduces levels of chemicals in the brain that are linked to stress and anxiety. And if some of you can sense where I'm going with this healthy ANIN has been shown to interrupt the stimulating effects of caffeine when paired with the stimulant. So for those of us that suffer from jitters from caffeine, supplementing with elf Union in your morning coffee can maintain the benefits of caffeine on focused and attention minus the jitters associated with it. And so, in general, healthy anin, when combined with caffeine, allows our bodies to more slowly absorbed the caffeine. Now some of you might be wondering, OK, well, how many milligrams of one or the other? What do I need to create this combo? The literature recommends a ratio of 1 to 2 or in other words, 100 milligrams of caffeine or one cup of coffee should be supplemented with around 200 milligrams of health. You need to get the most of the caffeine effects and the stress reduction from the Elfi Une . The FDA also recommends not exceeding doses of 1200 milligrams of healthy ANIN and 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. The combination of healthy eating and caffeine has a great safety record with clear, beneficial effects on sustain attention, memory and suppression of distractions, which is very interesting. In one particular study, mind wondering was significantly decreased after participants in just a drink that contained 160 milligrams of caffeine, supplemented with 200 milligrams of healthy anin. Now, despite the extensive safety record of both of these substances, I do encourage you to do your own research before purchasing any supplements to ensure that the company's air purchasing for him are in fact reputable, and I also recommend that you consult your doctor before you begin taking any supplements, especially, you have absolutely no experience with supplements or before making any changes to your existing medication. 8. Conclusion: we've reached the end of our cloth. Now there is a lot that has been covered in this class. So let's go over some of the take aways before introduce you to the class project. We began by discussing the different types of attention, and we realize that the ones that we want to work on our most likely selective and sustained attention while we're also going to try to limit dividing our attention to purely habitual tasks. We were then forced their knowledge some limitations of our potential system, including the fact that our attention is limited in both capacity and duration, and that we tend to fall prey to certain biases, including the novelty bias, and that if we want to move forward and improve our attention, we need to be fully aware of what some of these biases are. We also found that we spent quite a bit of our waking time, mind wondering, and that there are ways that we can improve on that. In the following sections, we talked about the methods one could use to enhance their focus or attention, and we acknowledge that the first step was to create a solid baseline for attentional system, including getting enough sleep, proper nutrition and regular exercise. We then dove into the methods proven to help US booster focus, including setting goals, finding our days and weeks, avoiding distractions, taking regular breaks, introducing a meditation practice and perhaps even fitting in a nap. Somewhere in the afternoon, when our energy and attention in the very last section we talked about the emerging world of new tropics and found that there are ways that we can use natural substances helpless, increase our focus and we talked about two of the safest elf you need and caffeine. I hope this class has taught you at least one you think about attention. Thank you so much for watching. 9. Class Project: for the class project. I encourage you to track how you spend your days paying close attention to times during the day when you were able to sustain focus on certain tasks. But also, when you struggle with focusing, I encourage you to take note of when you take your breaks. And what do these breaks consist of you doing? Are you on social media? Are you going outside for a walk? Also? Do you notice your mind wondering throughout the day and where does it wonder, too? Make us many notes as possible. Do you also notice some energy dips or attention dips that we talked about that then to occur in the afternoon? Now, the goal of the exercise is not to pass any judgement, nor is it to implement any changes at this very moment. It is purely to truck for about a week. Your current lifestyle Now you can be as detailed as you walked. You could include how many hours of sleep you got the night before, whether or not you exercise and so on. I do believe that too many self help books talk of implementing one technique or another to change behavior. Yet they often neglect to mention how much value there is actually being made aware of our current situation. First, our baseline before we do anything to change or attempt to improve it. Now, once you've completed tracking your attention for about a week, see where you could take from all the data. What do you struggle with the most? Visit Destructions is in mind, wondering. Not taking enough breaks. Create this baseline from which you can build by adding one or two of the suggested methods that we talked about. If you feel inclined to do so, you can share your template with the rest of the community on skill share, and I wish you the best of luck on yourself. Development Journey Thanks again for watching.