The movie "Limitless" starring Bradley Cooper came out in 2011 and it is every information worker's dream.
Taking a pill that can make you smarter, even for a few hours.
The premise is exciting.
There are drugs of course that can get you pretty close but they come with side effects.
People like Dave Asprey who used the drug Modafinil in previous years and has attributed part of his success to it.
However, anything that alters the biochemistry of the body tends to have side effects.
I will list below some non-intrusive ways I've found over the years with various degrees of effectiveness and some nootropics I've tried.
David Monroe discovered binaural beats by accident and went on to create a technology that was used by the US Government and is till being used today by meditation practitioners and neuroscientists to help entrain the brain into certain frequencies.
Dr. Joe Dispenza
One of my mentors, Dr. Joe Dispenza has conducted studies over the past 10 years and can conclusively demonstrate the effect of certain frequencies, words, music and binaural beats, in causing an effect on the nervous system.
The largest study of meditators affecting their physiology and demonstrating through blood and stool collection before and after, that SARS-CoV-2 couldn't penetrate the cell membrane.
Evidence is the loudest voice, worthing watching.
A device I discovered in the past 3 months since I started visiting the Neurolounge in Vancouver. This is a headset that use red and blue lights in both the ears and eyes. The device is paired with an app that has syncs the headset with the meditation track. The majority of meditations are recorded by Dr. Patrick Porter and combines a multitude of disciplines. If you follow the meditation you will feel like having taken an hour's or two nap after a 20 minute session.
Neurohacker Collective - Qualia
I used the Qualia supplements for 3 months. There was a noticeable difference in my focus span. I did however had to switch to the caffeine free versions as I felt agitated in the evenings and had increased anxiety.
This is something I'm looking to test next. They've had very good reviews and are more personalized compared to other supplements.
Cognitive performance is an interesting area, but it is important to stress that without proper sleep, hydration and nutrition, none of the above will have the desired effects.