Since I can remember, I’ve struggled with my ability to work effectively. If you’re like me, then you already feel just how frustrating it is.
The problem was never that I was intentionally lazy, or that I didn’t want to work, I just felt unable to actually put my thoughts into practice, y’know?
It is a refreshing feeling to be free and know that I have now cracked it.
The solution wasn’t easy to discover, heck, I’ve been trying my whole life. The difference was made when I figured out the right combination of changes in my life which worked for me.
I now enjoy my work greatly and what’s more, I get my work done.
So maybe you’re like me, maybe you have great ideas and the best of intentions but you only get 5% of the way before you fail in some obscure mess of losing focus. Of course, we sometimes still do great things, but we are never consistent.
How I discovered how to efficiently work from home and stop lazy and procrastinating tendencies
Ever since I assembled this list and acted on it, I’ve been consistent in many areas of my life including my work and I can now make plans knowing I will finish them.
In today’s post I’m going to break down all of the important points which combined to help me achieve my consistency.
What I’m showing you is real, actionable and practical solutions which worked for me.
- 1 Try to accept your laziness as part of who you are
- 2 Dream your success into existence
- 3 Your brain chemistry is critically important to your performance
- 4 Computer games can be a crippling addiction
- 5 You can be addicted to carbohydrates and be fatigued by it
- 6 Caffeine addiction could be giving you adrenal fatigue
- 7 The fallacy of believing you don’t need an office
- 8 Here are three reasons why you must create your own office
- 9 CBD oil(Cannabidiol oil)
- 10 Citicoline(cytidine 5′-diphosphocholine)
- 11 L-theanine
- 12 Bulletproof coffee
- 13 Nootropics I have used but do not include in my current stack
- 14 Taurine
- 15 Ashwaghanda
- 16 Basic vitamin balance
- 17 My current stack
Discover who you are and find solace in it
I’m going to kick start this section with some important philosophy which is an incredibly important part of how I moulded myself into the correct mindset to make the changes gel together and work.
After this section I will guide you through more tangible solutions.
What if your productivity problems have deeper root causes?
What if you can’t change who you are and you need to just work with what you’ve got?
Sifting through old school report cards I noticed that from a very early age I kept seeing the same words, “Creative”, “Good imagination”, “Good ideas”, “Easily distracted”, “Talks a lot”, “Finds it hard to work with others”, “Lack of concentration”, “Disruptive”,”Lazy”.
This could describe most kids, but I had it bad, maybe this rings-a-bell for you too?
After failing school I still managed to talk myself into decent jobs, however, as I grew older, my problems didn’t change and while I could talk myself into a job, I often found myself having to look for a new one.
I found working 9am to 5pm extremely difficult.
But this is no sob story, the point is, I had a problem and it was only until recently that I figured out what was going on.
I learnt I have a strongly suspected case of Autism, pointing mostly towards Asperger’s.
The lesson here is that It is important to figure out who you are and come to terms with it. Don’t try to change yourself.
Try to accept your laziness as part of who you are
Are you tired of getting angry with yourself?
Is the same cycle of failure and anger constantly repeating itself?
Coming to terms with who you are is important, it is the building block of a healthy foundation upon which all of the other changes in this post rest.
Once a day or whenever you become frustrated with your inability to get something finished I want you to calmly tell yourself this:
“I accept who I am, I accept that I will be lazy, I won’t allow myself to get frustrated and I will simply do what I can”.
This acceptance is critically important because if you become frustrated with your lack of concentration and get angry, it often doesn’t lead anywhere.
Getting angry motivates you more, but it is bittersweet, this is because anger creates a vicious circle of increased emotional intensity.
Consistency is not possible with fluctuating emotions like anger, as fluctuating emotions lead to spurts of high activity and then low activity crashes, which lead to anger that restarts the cycle.
What if from now on just let yourself be and you never sincerely apologise for the difficulties you face while trying to work.
If you know you’re trying hard, but you’re just finding things quite difficult, then you don’t need to prove yourself to anyone, you just need to focus on becoming the person you want to be.
If you do this, you might find yourself feeling much calmer and instead of storming off and getting angry, you will simply do what you can and continue to work.
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
Charles R. Swindoll
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
Dream your success into existence
The last part of my motivational, self-reflection talk is about one of the most powerful tools I have. It is philosophical, motivational and as powerful as it is simple. The lesson is this:
Don’t fixate on what you wish you could change or what you wish didn’t happen, instead, focus only on actually being the amazing person you want to be.
Maybe that sounds confusing, so using laziness as an example: If you fixate on trying to not be lazy, you’re fixating on the concept of being lazy.
However, if, instead, you forget about the lazy thing and just imagine and focus on what the type of person you wish you were, would be doing, then you’ll naturally and subconsciously gravitate towards being that person.
You need to refocus yourself and reframe your mindset. Another way to put it is:
Start focusing not on all the things you want to change, but instead on dreaming the person you want to be into existence.
That might sound a little abstract but bare with me, I can’t emphasise the importance of this enough.
You have to imagine the person you want to be and then imagine what it would feel like to be that person.
If you do this enough and you really feel it, you’ll almost immediately begin a journey towards being that person.
One last important factor in my success has been to stop waiting for life and my environment to be perfect before I work towards a goal. Life is now, while you’re waiting time keeps on ticking.
If you always wait for this imaginary perfect scenario you’re waiting for, where you believe you’ll be able to work on your dreams, it will never happen.
What I’m saying is, in order to reach your goals, you have to take action even if your current situation isn’t perfect. Time waits for no-one.
Accept your current circumstances and realise that this is your life, it is happening now and now is all you have to work with.
“My success isn’t a result of arrogance, it’s a result of belief.”
“My success isn’t a result of arrogance, it’s a result of belief.”
Your brain chemistry is critically important to your performance
What if you’re at a disadvantage from the start?
You can have an iron will, sheer determination, but if you have imbalances then you’re figuratively fighting an uphill battle.
We are so used to living our current lives in the manner we do, that we don’t understand what a true representation of what “normal” is anymore.
Through my research, what I believe and what has worked for me has come from the hypothesis that I was living my life in a way that had unbalanced my brain chemistry.
Nearly all of the non-philosophical changes I made, which I define in this post, are aimed at balancing brain chemistry, more specifically targeting these:
- GABA system
- Insulin and blood sugar
I found that I was suffering from high cortisol levels, my diet was inflammatory, my insulin and blood sugar levels were high throughout the day and my GABA system was unbalanced.
All four of these feed into each other and I was suffering from panic attacks, fatigue and getting sick often.
In this post you will learn how to begin to gradually rebalance yourself. If you can become less anxious and stressed, then you’ll feel better about yourself and you’ll even see changes physically too(looking healthier, getting sick less often).
Learn to manage your addictions
I have a frighteningly addictive personality, but Asperger’s or not, we all suffer from addictions in life and this can often leave little space to get enjoyment from the things we actually truly want to achieve.
You need to create space in your mind and in your life for the things that you know deep down you want to achieve, but are often clouded out by all of the highs and lows caused by simple and hidden addictions.
Imagine your mind is like a control room with a giant door, in order for you to work on something or do something, you have to allow a need or desire to pass through the door. Only one can be in the control room.
When you ask yourself what you actually want to achieve today, you already know what you want.
You can hear what you want knocking on the door, but the sound of the knock is being drowned out by all of your addictions which are continually hammering on it to get in.
In the end, the most dominant addiction usually wins, leaving your true desires and goals with little space in your life.
By freeing yourself from these addictions, you can be at peace and you can decide how to spend your time. You will be in control. It is quite the liberating experience.
I enjoy writing and now that I have managed my addictions I find that I think about writing a lot more and I enjoy sitting peacefully with nothing more than the sound of my fingers touching the keys and an idea to challenge myself with.
Computer games can be a crippling addiction
Wikipedia: “Video game addiction is hypothesized to be an excessive or compulsive use of computer games or video games, which interferes with a person’s everyday life. Video game addiction may present itself as compulsive gaming, social isolation, mood swings, diminished imagination, and hyper-focus on in-game achievements, to the exclusion of other events in life.”
Do you find yourself starting a game up the moment you wake up?
Do you go to bed at night thinking about the game?
Can’t wait to finish work so you can play? Do you play just one game before you do… anything?
Gaming addiction is real and other addictions such as caffeine feed into it.
Some computer games are great for relaxing, they stimulate your creativity, they are short lived and fantastic. I still enjoy this type of game.
But you have to learn to recognise when you’re becoming too engaged in a game, so you can call it quits.
This was my biggest addiction and it might also be yours, it was at the centre of all my addictions and made me susceptible to other addictions.
The only way I was able to free myself from this addiction was to combine all of the changes in this post.
Only at that point, did I genuinely find myself not feeling the need or desire to play, instead I naturally wanted to find my pleasure, enjoyment and reward from pursuing my dreams.
Ask yourself “Who do I want to be?”, realise that the person you want to be is not sitting on computer games all day.
If you complete all of the changes in this post, I guarantee that your gaming addiction will disappear on its own.
You will naturally feel that you would rather spend your time completing your goals.
You can be addicted to carbohydrates and be fatigued by it
Do you eat bagels or cereal in the morning only to feel faint and extremely hungry one-to-two hours later?
Ever eat a high carb meal and you find you suddenly start feeling very sleepy?
A high carb diet causes inflammation and it raises your insulin and blood sugar to unnatural levels which leave you feeling unbalanced, often fatigued and on the way to a blood sugar crash.
You might not notice it because you’re so used to it, but if you’re struggling with being a consistent person, this will have a big impact on your performance.
It is only in the past 35,000 years that we started eating high carb foods, this is only a fraction of time compared to our overall evolution, we are evolved to eat a diet much lower in carbs and much higher in fat.
This has an impact on our bodies because we are not evolved to handle such a massive amount of carbs every day.
You can stop this feeling of fatigue if you reduce the amount of high carb foods you eat.
The impact of reducing my carbohydrate intake has been nothing short of miraculous for my ability to concentrate.
When I talk about carbohydrates I specifically mean sugar and starch, this also includes root vegetables, however leafy green vegetables are fine.
This is a deep topic, but also extremely important to my success.
This topic really needs its own post because I cannot convey everything I know on the subject here.
So rather than explain all of the reasons why I’m eating this way and why it works, I think it is more important in this post to just talk about what I did.
About eight years ago a friend introduced me to the concept of the ketogenic diet. Over the years I’ve read several books and watched hours of documentaries, what the experts and doctors said about it resonated with me, the science behind it also made a lot of sense.
I tried the diet and have been completely blown away by the results ever since.
Within the first two months I had lost fifteen kilograms and I felt better than ever, not just physically, but mentally.
Using the Ketogenic diet I feel balanced, at ease, calm and have a greater sense of wellbeing. I never feel sleepy after eating anymore and my concentration has greatly improved.
If you’d like to make a positive change like I did, then you should spend some time discovering why this diet works. Here are my suggestions:
- The Keto Method. This is a fantastic place to start your journey, it tries to answer all of the questions someone new to the diet would ask. There are no advertisements, no upsells, it is just an informative website for those interested in getting to grips with the ketogenic diet.
- The Case Again Sugar and Why We Get Fat books. Written by Gary Taubes, these books make an excellent attempt at using science and observations to draw convincing conclusions on health, what makes us fat and the corrupt sugar and pharmaceutical industries.
- The /r/keto subreddit. This subreddit is very helpful and you can speak to the community about anything you need to know.
This diet plays a large role in my improvement and should not be taken lightly.
If you’re serious on being as productive as possible and getting rid of your addictions then you should consider reducing your intake of carbohydrates to something that humans are more naturally evolved to consume.
If you find the idea of the Ketogenic diet too extreme, consider Googling the “Paleo diet”. This is a diet built based on what we as animals have been eating for the past 120,000 years.
If Paleo is not your thing, then finally I would recommend Intermittent fasting as a way to gain some great health benefits from having control over your diet and body.
All of these diets will keep you in or close to a state of ketosis which has many great health benefits.
Caffeine addiction could be giving you adrenal fatigue
A cup of coffee can give a nice little boost in the morning, but did you know that being addicted to coffee can leave you with adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue, in actual fact, is not a medical term, the name is an inaccurate description of a problem called HPA Axis Dysfunction.
I love coffee, my day would start with a coffee, then after an hour or so I’d have another, then another, right up until the end of the day.
I started to understand that it paradoxically seemed to make me feel tired shortly after drinking it, even though my heart was pumping.
I needed coffee just to start the day as a normal person and I didn’t feel like I was getting any benefit from it, even though I enjoyed drinking it. Not only that, but it made me more susceptible to distractions.
Your adrenal glands produce a whole bunch of important hormones for your body including cortisol and adrenaline.
When you drink a strong coffee these hormones skyrocket which cause you to feel awake.
Your adrenal glands manufacture hormones which are needed for critical systems throughout your body, but you’re drinking coffee after coffee which makes your cortisol and adrenaline continue to skyrocket throughout the day, then the next day you repeat this process.
Eventually your adrenal glands can’t keep up with the demand and even though you’re drinking coffee and giving your adrenal glands the signal to create cortisol and adrenaline, it can’t.
This doesn’t just impact how awake you feel from a cup of coffee, it impacts your immune system, so you get sick more often.
I had been drinking coffee for the past 15 years, so I didn’t understand what it felt like not to drink coffee.
After two weeks of caffeine withdrawal I started to understand what normal feels like.
The adrenal glands take time to heal, but I already felt calmer, my sleep pattern improved and I could concentrate more.
Consider the possibility that you drink so much coffee that you have become addicted, your adrenal glands are depleted and you may need to cut back.
Reducing my caffeine intake has been a huge step in normalising my brain chemistry and I feel the benefits from it when it comes to handling stress, my sleeping patterns, my ability to concentrate and dealing with my workloads.
I also noticed I get sick less than previously.
Carve out an office space and make it your own
Having a separate office space is nothing new or original, however it is shrewd move to have one and there are several reasons why it is effective at keeping you consistent and productive.
I made the mistake of resisting advice I was given to create my own office space. My office is now an integral part of why I’m able to be consistent.
The fallacy of believing you don’t need an office
I already have a computer in the living room of my house, near the TV, with my family around me. I resisted the idea of creating a separate office space because I felt that there was no reason to move from my current setup.
I thought, “If I can’t work here, I won’t be able to work there either. There is nothing wrong with where I am now”. As you can imagine, this didn’t work out well for me.
Choose your office wisely, this is a place you’ll be spending plenty of your time in. It doesn’t have to be far away, it can be in a separate room of your house or you could rent a small office locally(You would be surprised how cheap it is to share an office).
I picked the brightest room in my house which has a nice ambience to it. I removed everything distracting and made it a room of peace, tranquillity and productivity.
Here are three reasons why you must create your own office
- An office creates a clear separation between work and home-life. If you struggle to make the transition from waking up, to working, then an office is exactly what you need. Habitually getting setup in your office every morning is a journey which helps train your brain over time. When you walk into the room, your brain will understand that it is time to work, no leisure activities take place in this room. This helps transition your mindset from leisure to work. One of the hardest parts of creating consistency is finding ways to make this transition every day. Here is a little tip I discovered, put your shoes on in the morning before walking into your office, even if you’re in the same house. It really works!
- Creating a barrier between work and distractions. When I was using my leisure computer, I found it hard to keep working because distractions and things I felt I’d rather do(play computer games) were only a few clicks away. Having a separate office makes it difficult to return to distracting unproductive actions by making it harder to go back to being unproductive. I even unplugged my keyboard and took my chair to my office to increase the effect, so that going back to leisure was mentally more of a hurdle than working.
- Working in a soothing, quiet place, helps tremendously. Make your office a stress free zone. Not only can you use your office for work, but it can also be a place of relaxation and “quiet time”. I picked a bright room as sunshine helps me feel clearheaded.
Nootropics can unlock your potential and give you control over your weaknesses
Nootropics also called smart drugs or cognitive enhancers—are drugs, supplements, or other substances that improve cognitive function, functions, memory, creativity, or motivation, in healthy individuals.
After I was told I am autistic I started to investigate what that means and ways in which I could balance my brain chemistry. I happened upon Nootropics through my research.
If you have issues with your memory, motivation, concentration or brain-fog then nootropics will be able to enhance those areas and give you some control over your function.
I realise that autism is more complex than this and I’m still researching it, however these three discoveries fascinated me enough into trying to remedy them.
Nootropics are not just limited to helping those with autism, they have a wide range of uses in medicine and enhancing cognitive performance.
I found an amazing community on the subreddit /r/Nootropics. The great thing about this community is that they care little for anecdotal evidence and demand scientific studies for credible claims, members often going into long winded discussions over the evidence and possibilities.
Using this subreddit I was able to discover a plethora of nootropics which can be used to enhance many parts of the brain.
Many of the compounds used are already well tested for those suffering from diseases such as Alzheimer’s, can be used for those with disorders like autism and the scientific literature shows incredible benefits to enhance cognitive function in normal people as well.
The products below are part of my current stack which I take daily to help me concentrate.
I have personally used every single product I list below.
Dutch Natural Healing CBD Oil
Dutch Natural Healing CBD Active Plus for easy consumption and improved absorption
CBD oil(Cannabidiol oil)
Wikipedia “Cannabidiol (INN) (CBD) is one of at least 113 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis. It is a major phytocannabinoid, accounting for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. CBD is considered to have a wide scope of potential medical applications – due to clinical reports showing the lack of side effects, particularly a lack of psychoactivity (as is typically associated with ∆9-THC), and non-interference with several psychomotor learning and psychological functions.”
Medical properties: Anti-emetic, Anti-convulsant, Anti-oxidant, Anti-tumoral/Anti-cancer, Anxiolytic/Anti-depressant, Pain killer, Anti-inflammatory.
Used in medicine for: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Schizophrenia, PTSD, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, Nicotine addiction, Acne, Insomnia, Migraines, Depression, ADHD, Autism, Kidney disease, And many other diseases and disorders.
Value as a nootropic: Improved ability to focus and zone-in, A sense of calmness, Reduced anxiety, Clear thinking, Slightly enhanced memory and creativity, Greatly reduces feelings of fatigue and tiredness without feeling wired.
CBD is not psychoactive. This means that even though it is derived from cannabis it will not get you high. In the UK it is completely legal to buy CBD since the amount of THC it contains is negligible.
My experience with CBD Oil
To describe CBD in one word, I’d say, healing. Many nootropics and drugs create imbalances which can be beneficial to your goals but have some negative side effects.
When using CBD however, I don’t feel pumped up, I just feel like I’m more in control of myself.
This represents itself through feelings of clear thinking, calm energy, reduced fatigue, reduced brain-fog, an active working memory, no headaches and more.
CBD doesn’t get you pumped up in the way drinking a few strong coffees does, instead, it simply stops all of the symptoms that would get in the way of your ability to complete tasks.
CBD gives me a clear headed feeling, I don’t get tired during the day and I can easily zone-in on what I need to focus on.
So if you are prone to brain-fog, tiredness in the morning and find yourself unable to concentrate due to anxious feelings, then CBD will be very helpful to you.
I take a few drops of CBD oil sublingually and I’m ready to rock.
CBD works for everyone and if you’re looking to improve your productivity give it a try.
Unlike other nootropics, CBD doesn’t really have any negative side effects(it tastes bad, I guess?), it works amazingly for getting into the zone while working.
About the CBD retailers
CBD is legal in the UK and has recently been reclassified from a food supplement to medicine.
Due to CBD previously being almost unregulated, there were several bad sellers who scammed and sold very poor quality products.
This is now changing due to the reclassification in the UK. I’m not sure on US legality and laws but I know in some states it certainly is legal.
The retailers I recommend below are well known for delivering good quality CBD and they are priced very well. As of the date of this article there is no reason why I would choose any other seller.
For UK & EU readers: Natural Dutch Healing - CBDactive+ 5ml Tester
For US readers: NuLeaf Naturals
Wikipedia “Citicoline (INN), also known as cytidine diphosphate-choline (CDP-Choline) or cytidine 5′-diphosphocholine is an intermediate in the generation of phosphatidylcholine from choline, a common biochemical process in cell membranes. Citicoline is naturally occurring in the cells of human and animal tissue, in particular the organs.“
Medical properties: Neuroprotective, Replenishes choline levels, enhanced cell signalling, increased cerebral blood flow, reduces oxidative stress, prevents inflammation.
Used in medicine for: Head trauma, Ischemic stroke, Neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer’s, Vision problems such as glaucoma and amblyopia, Cocaine dependence, decreased appetite, Traumatic brain injury, cognitive dysfunction, Other memory disorders.
Value as a nootropic: Increases Choline levels(Good), reduced brain-fog, improved motor skills, improved attention span, working memory
Citicoline replenishes your choline levels in the brain. Choline is found in a lot of meat and dairy products and is an essential nutrient for cognitive function.
Taking Citicoline will enhance your memory, eliminate brain-fog(at the right dosage), increase motor speed and attention span and reduce low-choline induced headaches.
There is also anecdotal evidence and observations made that low choline levels during pregnancy can cause autism.
We don’t know the true depth of how it interacts with cannabis yet, but I do feel it works very well with my CBD oil. Also, if you’re prone to getting too high when using traditional high THC cannabis then Citicoline will reduce the high somewhat.
My experience with Citicoline
Citicoline is part of the foundation in which I build my daily stack, especially since it helps with choline deficiency in autistic disorders.
Citicoline increased my cognitive function over time and since I’ve become accustomed to it, it is often hard to notice citicoline’s effects anymore.
I only tend to notice the effects when I’ve missed some doses and then I can feel the difference after taking it again.
It does not directly stimulate the brain, it simply ensures that the brain has what it needs to function at a high level.
I prefer this type of nootropic over stimulants. It is also neuroprotective and generally increases cognitive function, especially when combined with CBD oil.
Dosages are very important with Citicoline. The recommended dosages did not give me any benefit, in fact, they impaired my cognitive function.
I found that after taking Citicoline at what is supposedly a normal dose, I would get terrible brain fog, my vision would be a little off and I was generally fuzzy headed.
After researching and sifting through tons of blog posts, Reddit posts and pubmed.com’s studies I discovered that the recommended dosages are far too high.
I was previously taking 250mg of Citicoline once and sometimes twice daily, now I take 25-50mg once per day.
After I did this I started to feel the benefit much more and the brain-fog disappeared.
Citicoline is incredibly safe, there is no chance of overdosing on it since it isn’t toxic.
What I recommend is that you start with small doses and work yourself up to a dose where you start to feel like brain-fog is developing, then you know your limit and you can reduce the dose slightly.
For UK: Mind Nutrition Citicoline CDP
For EU: Mind Nutrition Citicoline CDP
For US: Mind Nutrition Citicoline CDP
Wikipedia “Theanine /ˈθiːəniːn/, also known as L-γ-glutamylethylamide and N5-ethyl-L-glutamine, is an amino acid analogue of the proteinogenic amino acids L-glutamate and L-glutamine and is found primarily in particular plant and fungal species. It was discovered as a constituent of green tea in 1949 and in 1950 was isolated from gyokuro leaves, which have high theanine content.“
Medical properties: Increases serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and glycine levels, Anxiolytic, Increases brain alpha waves, improved cognitive function and working memory. Synergistic with many other substances.
Used in medicine for: Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Anxiety, High blood pressure, synergises with cancer treatments.
Value as a nootropic: Synergistic with caffeine for increased cognitive function, Reduced anxiety, Improved mood, Enhanced focus, Increased motivation.
My experience with L-theanine
L-theanine is called the beginner’s nootropic among the nootropic’s community. It is a great place to start when building your first stack and many people use it as a foundation.
L-theanine is mostly found in the black and green tea you find in your local shop. It is part of the reason why a cup or green tea can be beneficial for you and also the reason Matcha tea is effective.
If I decide to have a coffee, I combine it with L-theanine and I definitely feel an improvement in my ability to zone-in on my work. L-theanine also has a great ability to take the jittery feeling away from coffee.
Unfortunately I have a strange GABA system and I have to be careful with drugs that affect this core system,(GABA receptors are involved in fight or flight panic symptoms).
It is rare for someone to react the way I do to GABA agonists. I am very sensitive to drugs.
For most people, they can consume 100x the recommended dose and feel fine, but for me, I find that L-theanine, in too high a dose will give me jittery feelings and excite my nervous system which can be uncomfortable and cause me to feel uneasy.
I still use L-theanine as combining it with CBD oil and reducing my caffeine intake mostly solved this problem completely. But it is just something to be aware of.
I’m currently writing this post after taking theanine with a small Bulletproof coffee and I feel great.
If you have any reservations about L-theanine then you should know that if you’ve had a cup of tea today you’re already using it!
For UK: Mind Nutrition L-Theanine
For EU: Mind Nutrition L-Theanine
For US: Mind Nutrition L-Theanine
Bulletproof Brain Octane
Grass fed Ghee
A Bulletproof coffee is basically a frothy looking black coffee which contains no milk. It is made with a high fat oil such as coconut oil and then blended with unsalted butter until frothy.
It sounds disgusting but it actually tastes pretty good and there is some good science behind why the ingredients combine to make a nice energy booster.
The ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting diet synergises amazingly with Bulletproof coffee. Caffeine has been documented as boosting ketosis and the high fat content of the Bulletproof coffee only works to further that goal.
Bulletproof coffee is like the fashionable new brand on the block, it is also expensive. You can make your own at home but it doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles claimed to improve cognitive function and health that the Bulletproof guys claim.
There are currently three major components of the Bulletproof brand which you can purchase to make the coffee exactly how they instruct.
- Bulletproof certified clean coffee beans
- Brain Octane MCT oil
- Grass-fed Ghee
For UK: Bulletproof online Store
For EU: Bulletproof Online Store
For US: Bulletproof Online Store
Nootropics I have used but do not include in my current stack
I’ve reached a point now where I’m happy with my stack, I’ve hit that sweet spot where starting the day is an easy and pleasurable experience.
Can you imagine waking up in the morning, a little groggy and within 30 minutes you’re pleasantly awake, you’ve got energy, but you’re not over stimulated? Thats is what I’ve achieved.
Mental clarity is a thing of beauty and modern science allows us to provide nutrients to our body in ways that were impossible before the 21st century.
I think anyone not taking advantage of nootropics is seriously missing out.
I’m searching for balance in my life, the nootropics below didn’t work for me for various reasons, but they might for you. Since I’ve personally used each of them I think it is fair to mention them.
This is what you might call an advanced nootropic, a heavy hitter. Aniracetam has a profound effect on how you’re feeling and your performance.
However, for me, it has its downsides and if I ever take it, I do it knowing I’m going to feel anxious, over excited and over stimulated.
Many people use Aniracetam to help them relax and to help them with creative aspects of their work. Personally I found it made my anxiety worse.
There is also the related Piracetam which I have not tested. It is supposed to be more stimulatory and allows many people to focus on their work more without the relaxing effect of Aniracetam.
Both of these nootropics deplete your choline levels and can give headaches.
A lot of people have reported success using the racetam family of nootropics but I urge you to do your due-diligence and research racetams before using them.
Taurine is found in animal meat and has many benefits for the body. It will increase physical endurance slightly, it crosses the blood brain barrier where it is involved in many functions and it also has an anxiolytic effect.
Unfortunately many drugs that have an anxiolytic effect have paradoxical results for me. I have to be careful with drugs which affect my GABA system, such as taurine.
After using taurine for a few days at low levels I started to get constant anxiety and panicky feelings. This is however, very unusual, taurine is an extremely safe supplement to take.
I do actually recommended trying taurine as there is a definite increase in overall energy and it is a great supplement to take before exercise.
Ashwagandha is used to treat adrenal function problems, it reduces cortisol levels, it regulates thyroid function and has a strong anxiolytic effect.
Again, unfortunately, this caused intense fight or flight symptoms after a few days for me.
It also caused a phenomenon called brain zaps which was extremely uncomfortable. Brain zaps feel like a strong electric shock inside your head and is a symptom of serotonin imbalances.
I’m searching for balance and this is why I stopped Ashwagandha. However, if you believe you may have a specific thyroid problem then ashwagandha can certainly give you some benefit short term.
Basic vitamin balance
Picking out a good multivitamin makes all of the difference. If you have several bottles of singular vitamins then you will have absorption problems.
The most important vitamins for me are:
- Vitamin Bs. Some studies of autism found vitamin B deficiencies, I also get ulcers in my mouth which can be a vitamin B deficiency.
- Vitamin D. Can be described as the vitamin we most lack in modern culture and the vitamin that provides the most benefit.
- Omega 3. Help with cognitive function greatly and helps balance out a diet overloaded with Omega 6(a bad thing).
- Magnesium. Responsible for controlling anxiety, addictive tendencies and wellbeing.
- Potassium. The Ketogenic diet drains your body of salts and modern salt has low potassium, I recommend buying special lo sodium salt which contains a lot of potassium. This will help you if you’re feeling drained and weak during the ketogenic diet.
Taking all of these vitamins and minerals separately is a bad idea and they will compete for absorption. I shopped around for a multi-vitamin which could do the job.
I currently use the Seven Seas Multivitamin for men over age 50. I find this has the right balance and it includes all of the vitamins above.
However I do also have some Vitabiotics Ultra Omega 3 to make sure I’m getting all of the benefit from good Omega 3 oil. Both of these can be bought in the UK at your local ASDA store or online.
My current stack
I will be updating this post throughout the life of this blog. I want this post to be something that people who are struggling to stay focused can depend upon to impart good information and get them back on track.
This section of the post represents my current daily stack and will be updated if anything changes.
Each morning I take:
- 2-4 drops of CBD oil
- 50mg of Citicoline
- 200mg L-theanine
- A single Bulletproof Coffee(While on the ketogenic diet)
- Seven Seas Multi Vitamin for men over age 50(the age part doesn’t matter)
- Vitabiotics Ultra Omega 3
Half way through the day I might take an extra:
- 2-4 drops of CBD oil
- 50mg of Citicoline
- 200mg L-theanine
Often if I have a headache it can mean my choline is low or the CBD is wearing off so I top myself up with citicoline and CBD.
Switching my exercise routine focus from weightlifting to cardio improved my work ethic and energy levels
What if your exercise routine isn’t giving you the cognitive benefits and energy benefits you’re supposed to get?
I was lifting weights regularly but I didn’t feel like my body had any more energy and I didn’t feel super healthy, I just felt more bulky.
In short, I felt it was impeding my energy levels and proving to be an obstacle to my work.
By changing up my routine I improved many aspects of my ability to work harder while working from home. Such a simple change made a huge impact for me personally.
I’ve been a huge fan of Mixed Martial Arts for the past ten years and I admire their work ethic, determination and how they often don’t look bulky, but very healthy. Their training is all about being at a physical peak of energy and endurance.
I stopped using my local gym to lift weights and switched to using cardio based High Intensity Interval Training(HIIT). It kicked my ass like nothing before.
I was using a workout video set from home on my Xbox Fitness called MOSSA Fight and I combined this with jogging around my local park.
The difference was like night and day. I found that this workout hit my body in places I had never felt while weight lifting.
After the initial hell of the HIIT regime, I felt like I could breath easier, I felt like I had much more energy and I felt like I was thinking more clearly. Weightlifting didn’t give me these benefits.
If you’re sitting at your PC a lot you might notice you sometimes feel uncomfortable and a frustrated feeling, it can mean that you need to expend energy physically in a way that releases endorphins and gives yourself a workout.
This expending of energy regularly gives you a feeling of ease and happiness while sitting and not moving.
It adds balance to your life and balance is exactly what we need to help us commit to something with the least resistance.
The Xbox Fitness routine I used was cancelled by Microsoft around December 2016, however MOSSA recently added the workouts to their ecommerce store.
I can’t recommend them enough, I concentrated on workout one and it really kicked my ass each time, I felt awesome a few weeks into it and I noticed just how much more healthy and energetic I felt.
The Stoic Philosophy of life
Day by day we make decisions that we think fulfil our current needs and we make plans for our future.
We are taught many things in life but we are never told how to important it is to have a philosophical direction in life.
We are never given a tool or guide to cope with what life brings.
I believe having a philosophy on how to live our lives is very important to finding some value in our own existence.
Mental health is a very important subject and I believe that troubled people are often suffering existential crisis and part of the problem is not having any understanding or philosophy of the world to live by.
Being a conscious human being with awareness of the futility of life can be scary for many people and is a natural byproduct of self awareness.
I discovered the Stoic philosophy and feel that I have a much greater grasp on how I should be leading my life.
Autism often causes me to find it difficult to understand other people’s lack of logic in matters and I can be very argumentative, I find it hard to let go.
Stoicism is a guide for me to gain control of my actions and to rationalise the world around me.
Stoicism is all about helping you lead your life in a way that gives you control, understanding and focus on your core goals.
William B. Irvine’s interpretation of Stoicism is a great place to start.
What I’m doing now and its success
This has been a long journey for me and it is not over yet. But these changes have impacted my life extremely positively.
If you’re currently struggling then consider making some of these changes to your own life and testing the results.
Even if you don’t see the logic or benefit in some of the changes, just do it, what do you have to lose?
Remember this, the changes I made have a cumulative effect with each other, you’re not going find that your life has improved overnight by only making one change, you should take on the challenge of making these changes all at once.
Through dreaming my success into existence I’ve started to become the person I want to be and that is a liberating feeling you can achieve too.
I now have many clients I write for and I consistently work on my progress as a writer for online blogs and now creatively as a storyteller.
Whatever your dreams, don’t be afraid of change and as Shia Lebouf says just do it.