Since February, there has been a 300% increase in people searching “how to get your brain to focus”, a 110% increase in “how to focus better” and a 60% rise in “how to increase focus”. Put plainly, we’re struggling to concentrate now more of us are working from home for the first time. Lockdown has led a nation into a focus crisis. The good news is there are things you can do help you find focus.
The sudden transition to full-time home life - the first time working away from an office for many of us - has not been easy. Being home day in, day out - under the weight of government guidelines and a global pandemic - takes its toll. Blurred lines between work and personal life, consuming more media than ever and somehow feeling ‘always on’ even behind closed doors, it can be hard to understand and process our feelings. On top of that, it can be hard to figure out how and where to focus our attention.
Despite the pandemic, it’s business-as-normal for a lot of companies and their employees. Business-as-normal…but the ‘new normal’, conducting everything digitally. We have new work pressures on top of the old deadlines and targets - how is your wifi holding up? Trying to parent and look after and/or teach your children? Found a quiet spot in your house for the umpteenth Zoom call of the day? With more stressors than ever, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and even easier to forget that while we’re trying to survive and adapt, it can be hard to feel like you’re thriving, no matter how many loaves of banana bread you bake.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a molecule found in hemp plants that matches one naturally produced in our own bodies in the endocannabinoid system. This system helps keep the body in balance, or, to use the technical term, homeostasis. It works by communicating to cells, hormones and neurone transmitters that they need to regulate back to their happy equilibrium. If the endocannabinoid system isn’t functioning well, you are more susceptible to conditions like anxiety, stress, pain and inflammation. It can also be hard to find the motivation to prioritise and deliver when we’re struggling to manage symptoms of stress and anxiety. By supplementing the body with plant-made cannabinoids, you can help with the management of these conditions, and by extension, aid focus and attention.
OTO has a dedicated Focus range of products, designed specifically to aid focus and productivity. Products contain high-quality organic CBD and carefully selected Ayurvedic essential oils to further boost focus and concentration: ylang ylang, used by locals in South East Asian rainforests to help calm and focus the mind; rosemary, a popular stimulant with the ancient Greeks as it boosts the ability to concentrate and enhance memory; and peppermint, which has been found to increase alertness while maintaining a sense of calm.
OTO consumer trials showed that over two-thirds of participants had improved concentration levels thanks to regular use of our CBD roll-on oils, and 80% said it may have stopped them feeling restless.
We’ve want everyone to find their focus as best as possible, so we asked our OTO scientists, Dr Ketan Joshi and Dr Michael Haslam to share their five top tips to help you focus during the new normal.
Find your space. Literally. Choose your workspace and make it a stress-free zone of quiet and solitude, so that other members of your household can allow you to concentrate and you can keep your work and home life relatively separate. If you don’t have a separate room, find an area with minimum traffic from the rest of your household, so you don’t get distracted. Going to this same place every day will help tell your mind that it’s time to focus, not time to wander, however, try to maintain the same hours you would have spent at the office so that you don’t burn out.
Use CBD to encourage homeostasis within the body and alleviate symptoms of stress and aches & pain as well as improving the quality of your sleep, so that you have no physical ailments pulling your attention throughout the day and you can concentrate on the task in hand.
Use your video more than you would, encourage your colleagues to have Zoom meetings so that you stay connected. And if you start to feel isolated and it begins to detract from your work, consider setting up a support group of friends or colleagues who are also working from home, meeting on a regular basis and sharing creative ways you’ve adjusted to the new situation.
Be aware of cabin fever, particularly for your new little workspace – get outside as much as possible, even if it’s just a walk around the block research shows that spending time outside lowers stress, helps you relax and clears your mind.Remember to plan time in for yourself – self-care is relevant now more than ever, and this means something different for everybody. Things like our virtual soundbaths and breathing videos are a great way to fit this into your new routine easily, or simply taking a minute every couple of hours to rub one of our OTO Roll-On CBD oils on your temples and pulse points, particularly our Focus oil, will help bring you back into the moment and focus the mind.