Eight quick tips to stay energized at work
Whether you’re having trouble each morning focusing or the midafternoon slump always drags you down, feeling tired, distracted, or irritable at work isn’t good for your performance or wellbeing—or for your interaction with your coworkers! Read on for eight quick tips to stay energized at work.
- Make sure you get a good night’s rest. According to the National Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep can adversely affect your memory and ability to focus—both of which directly impact your performance at work. To maintain the level of concentration you need to perform in your job on a daily basis, make sure you get enough sleep every night. Though many people believe you need a minimum of eight hours of shuteye, the National Sleep Foundation states that the exact amount varies from person to person. As a rule of thumb, if you’re consistently lacking energy during the day, try adding an hour of sleep and see how it improves your performance. Once you’ve determined how much sleep you need, make sure you get adequate rest on weeknights.
- Have some protein with your breakfast. SF Gate explains that consuming a breakfast that includes carbs (about 10 to 35 percent of the meal) will satisfy your hunger and keep you energized until lunch. The amino acids in the protein wake your brain up and keep it alert. Even if you’re not a breakfast person, consider having a latte, glass of milk, or some yogurt before going to work.
- De-clutter and organize your workspace. WebMD states that clutter can make you feel overwhelmed and if you’re stressed or tired, bring you down even further. Take a moment at the beginning of the morning to de-clutter and organize your workspace by cleaning up your desk, organizing your emails, and de-cluttering your cubicle. You’ll not only feel more in control of your environment, you’ll also experience the energizing feeling of having accomplished a task.
- Take a real lunch break. If you habitually eat lunch at your desk or even skip it completely, you might be doing yourself more harm than good. Dr. Janet Scarborough Civitelli explains on CNN that if you demand eight hours of concentration from your brain on a regular basis, you might not notice fatigue and burnout creeping up on you. So get up from your desk and enjoy your lunch somewhere else, such as in a park, at your favorite café, or at the gym.
- Move around. In Psychology Today, Steve Sisgold advises that the best way to quickly elevate your mood or reverse a negative attitude is to hold your chin up, breathe deeply, and make large, expansive motions like waving your arms—and smile! These movements decrease cortisol, the stress hormone, and boost the levels of good hormones in your brain. Granted, you might need to find a quiet spot such as a bathroom or stairwell to do this exercise, but even just a couple of seconds can make a difference.
- Get a change of scene. Sometimes, literally changing your surroundings can keep you alert and positive. According to Susan Adams writing for Forbes, researchers are linking consistent, sedentary work with lower productivity levels and getting a change of scene regularly throughout the day can help boost your energy, focus, and productivity. To briefly change your surroundings, take a short walk (even if it’s just to the water cooler), spend a few minutes having a face-to-face conversation with a colleague, or if you can’t leave your desk, spend some time performing a task that requires human interaction such as answering emails or returning calls.
- Change your posture. Psych Central reminds us that slouching can make you feel depressed and lower your energy levels, so make sure to adjust your office chair to enable good posture. Even if you have good posture while sitting at your desk, it can be useful to swap your chair for an exercise ball, or even to stand at your desk for a while. By removing the backrest, you’re forcing your body into an even better posture, which in turn positively influences your mood and energy levels.
- Hydrate. Getting out of your dip might be as simple as drinking a glass of water. Time reports that dehydration can make you tired, distracted, and depressed, as well as give you headaches. Be sure to hydrate throughout the day by drinking water or other fluids such as juice, smoothies, or soup.
To perform well in your job you need to be energized, focused, and positive at work, so refer to these eight tips whenever you feel a dip coming on. Remember which exercises and habits work best for you, and stay one step ahead of your next energy slump!