Have you ever found yourself binge-watching Netflix for hours, yet struggling to write even one sentence of an assignment? Have you ever caught yourself aimlessly scrolling through social media instead of tackling that to-do list? Why is it so much easier to get lost in the world of distraction rather than doing what we know will help us be more productive?
The answer lies in dopamine.
Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter that helps control our level of excitement and interest in things. It helps us focus and work hard by making things seem more intriguing. So, the activities that we know are good for us often don’t seem interesting because they don’t give us a dopamine boost.
But there’s hope! Here are some ways to improve your dopamine production and get more done:
Mind Your Meals
What we eat has a huge impact on our productivity levels. Make sure you include foods high in proteins, magnesium, and tyrosine such as dairy, fish, cheese, nuts, beans, and lentils in your diet. Avoid processed foods and limit your intake of coffee and alcohol.
Pair a healthy diet with regular exercise and a good night’s sleep, and you’ll be unstoppable.
Stay Away from Distractions
Indulging in addictive activities such as gaming, social media, or watching short videos (reels) during breaks can cause a dopamine surge. This makes it even harder to get motivated for less engaging activities like reading.
To avoid this, turn off notifications for your apps and limit your social media time to once a day for a set duration. Digital detox and meditation can also help keep your dopamine levels in check.
Take an hour each day to just sit and be with yourself. In this quiet time, let your mind reset and recharge.
Mix Productive Tasks with Enjoyable Ones
If possible, listen to your favorite music while working on an assignment, or enjoy a snack you love while tackling a difficult project. This tricks your brain into thinking “this is okay” and helps you stay focused and calm.
Avoid multitasking when you have too much on your plate. Instead, make a to-do list and work through it one task at a time. The sense of accomplishment you get from crossing each task off will keep your motivation levels high.
Minimize distractions by putting on noise-cancelling earphones and disconnecting from the world until you’re done. This will help you work faster and more efficiently.
Say No to Drugs
Drugs and alcohol give us a false sense of pleasure by artificially boosting our dopamine levels. This high is temporary, and when it wears off, our dopamine levels crash, leaving us feeling down.
Sticking to a healthy lifestyle will pay off in the long run by boosting your productivity levels. Sure, it’s okay to have fun during breaks, but keeping your mind focused and calm will help you achieve more in the end.
A 7-Day Dopamine Detox: How It Changed My Life
I started the year with a 7-day dopamine detox, and you can check out my experience in this video:
In conclusion, while distractions may seem more interesting in the moment, choosing a healthy lifestyle is what will make you more productive in the long run. By keeping your mind calm and focused, you’ll achieve more and feel better too.