Today’s workplace is anything but traditional, but one thing remains: the eight-hour workday.
During this eight-hour period, you’re expected to be awake and alert, ready to take on the next assignment. If you’re like me, however, and can’t seem to stay focused that long, consider the following tips to keep you energized at work.
Get Some Sleep
I know this usually doesn’t happen at work, but getting a good night’s sleep is essential to a productive workday. As a general rule, most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. So, before you pull another all-nighter to get ahead at work, you should know that sleep has many unexpected benefits including increased productivity.
Some even suggest a quick nap at work. Depending on your company’s culture, napping may be allowed. If you’re lucky enough to be granted the privilege of work-naps, take advantage of them with 20-30 minutes of shut-eye shortly after lunch.
I’m not a nutritionist, but I know that the food we eat turns into energy that we use every day. Your lunch break is supposed to give you the means to power through the rest of your day, so choose wisely. I know those brownies in the break room seem tempting, but overly sugary foods can cause crashes later on in the day.
In the same way, fatty foods make you sluggish because your body is working harder to break down nutrients, which is why eating a well-balanced meal is so important. As the old saying goes, you are what you eat.
And if you’re thinking about eating lunch at your desk, think again. Eating at your desk is bad for you in more ways than one and you should do whatever you can to avoid it.
Curb Coffee Consumption
Yeah, I said it. According to a study conducted by Harvard University’s School of Public Health, the average American adult consumes three cups of coffee and the country spends more than $40 billion on coffee annually. Similar to most snack foods, coffee and other energy drinks provide momentary bursts of energy in the form of caffeine that lead to periods of burnout later on. Kicking the habit is hard, but start slow. Why not try drinking tea, instead as a healthy alternative to get your energy boost?
There’s scientific evidence suggesting that that exercise renews energy. Even if your office doesn’t have an indoor gym, there are still plenty of simple exercises that you can do at your desk. Remember, stairs are not the enemy.
Exercising before work is good too, if you feel like waking up early. In which case, kudos to you.
Listen to Music
If you work in an office, chances are you’re in front of a computer with access to the Internet. When laziness strikes, put on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and start the music. Although some people believe that classical music works best, find whatever helps keep you focused and stick to it. The Ambient station on SoundCloud is keeping me company as I write. No matter what genre you chose, I noticed that songs with mellow moods improve concentration more than those with upbeat tones.
Although power naps increase energy, falling asleep at your desk is an indicator of sleepiness and low energy levels. WikiHow suggests using the cold to your advantage. Whether you chew ice or splash your face with cold water, the human body is designed to self-regulate its core temperature and will keep you awake longer in order to warm up.
Change the Scenery
I could tell you go outside and take a walk, but I won’t – even though it does help. The folks at Buzzfeed thought of some clever ways to combat energy loss by changing your perspective within the office. If your corporate culture isn’t as liberal as theirs, consider taking that walk be it outside or within your building. Taking a break from the screen will clear your mind and force your body out of a sedentary position.
This one might be a little difficult, especially if you aren’t terribly fond of your job. Do some research on a subject that you’ve always wanted to learn about and your day will be over in no time. Ever wonder why time always seems to go faster when you’re doing something that you love? This is called getting into the flow and it might be the secret to a more productive workday.
Find Some Friends
Friends can provide both physical and emotional support when you’re energy is running low. Try these tips to make friends at the office. You may end up getting more than a friend out of it; studies show having friends at work increases happiness and productivity, too.
Need more than your office friends? Sometimes reaching out to a friend outside of work could be the push you need to get going again.
Switch It Up
Camille Peri of WebMD writes, “At work or home, try to reserve more stimulating tasks for your sleepy times. Or switch to more engaging work responsibilities when you feel yourself nodding off.” You’re probably given more than one assignment to complete at work every day; don’t be afraid to skip around if you get stuck on one thing.
What are your favorite ways to re-energize? Let us know in the comments!
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