Have you ever caught yourself day dreaming in the middle of the day, wishing you could take a short nap or just rest your head for a few moments? Except for those times you didn’t sleep the night before, and sleeping IS recommended, I’m going to show you a few tricks to keep your efficiency high and Sandman away.
Watch your diet
You’ve been having the same sleeping schedule for as long as you can remember, and it’s been all working so fine until a few weeks back! You fall asleep at 11.00 PM sharp and wake up at 6.00 AM without having to set an alarm, but just right after noon, you feel the urge to hug a pillow, lay down in fetal position and just.. have a break!
Feeling fresh is usually related to your sleep quality, but truth is it depends much more on your daily dietary choices. And it’s just a matter of time until those bad choices kick in their consequences, be them anything from a few extra pounds to a nutritional deprivation, which leads to tiredness.
So it’s pretty simple to follow: eating highly processed foods will alter your body’s ability to digest food correctly, because it doesn’t have the required enzymes to break those extra ingredients like colorants, preservatives or any other chemical. And having that ability inhibited means only one thing: neither the nutrients will be absorbed in your system, causing a lack of energy and vigor.
But what happens when you already are careful with what you eat, but still don’t feel as revived as you know you should feel? Truth is, even if we try our best to discipline ourselves, food just isn’t what it used to be and what our body needs. So monitor your Vitamin B complex intake, as it helps the body convert to energy what you eat, and if it’s not enough, try supplementing it.
Take a break from routine
I’m sure you all know this, but I’ll say it one more time, just to make sure you actually apply it, too: USE THE 55-5 RULE! After every 55 minutes of work, spend 5 walking around the office, going out to grab a tea or a snack or to stretch yourself a bit. Note: Going to the bathroom does not count as a relaxing activity, so don’t hold it in too long and use this break for your physical needs!
Maintaining the focus on your task is essential, and studies have shown (and I agree with them, considering my personal experience) that in order to be efficient you need short breaks at adequate periods of time, just to refresh your mind and come with another perspective on the same subject.
More than that, it prevents sleepiness and will definitely save you from the lethargy you’re drowning in. This is a key indicator to see if what you’ve been working on has been boring you all day long, or if you truly are tired. Most people confuse laziness or an indisposition with tiredness, but try imagining you’ve been working the exact amount of time on an activity you usually enjoy. Would you still have been tired? If so, then pay a visit to your doctor and make a general check. If not, then .. change what you’re working on, even if it’s your job in most of the cases!
Have a healthy snack
This is a quick solution, only for the problem, not for the cause itself. But there are times when we know what we already did wrong, but need a solution for NOW, am I right? Nobody wants to be told what they should’ve done differently, especially when they are tired and hungry, so the best thing to do is come up with the solution itself.
Now I know you may be tempted to grab that coffee or a croissant. Actually, they seem to be the energy booster you’ve been looking for all day. But if we fast forward a couple of weeks on caffeine, sodas or sweets, we figure out that they are the main reason we feel lifeless. They give us tons of energy, only to take it back one hour later.
So what snacks do the trick, anyway? I usually go for a protein bar, low both in fats and sugars, based on fructose. Another option would be 2 biscuits made of seeds and honey, which are highly nutritive with good fats and sugars, but also very caloric. If these aren’t your cup of tea either, you could try with a low fat yogurt, some cottage cheese or, another favourite of mine, a tuna can.
Remember how good we felt when we were children? One good reason that we felt that way is because we believed in anything. We were sure we can accomplish anything. And we daydreamed. Even adults helped us, asking What would you like to become when you grow up? And then we never stopped thinking about how our life will be designed and how big our family will be, about that backyard where we’ll be playing all day long (because we’d remain children ever after). We felt that joy that very few of us can feel to this day, and those who are feeling it, are daydreaming.
Just use those 5 minutes break to let your imagination flow. You already know the picture of your dream life, now listen to that inner voice. Once you disconnect a while, you’ll once again feel the childhood joy we were talking about, and I bet you will feel motivated and inspired, ready to work!
Just like it’s been said before, be careful not to confuse your lack of motivation and sense of life with a lack of energy.
Try color and light therapy!
It’s well known that our moods are directly affected by our visual receptors. Seeing something we enjoy will put us in a great mood, and there’s where all our energy comes from!
First of all, fill your working space with colorful objects – try orange, red, and yellow, green. They’re the most vibrant and have a unique energy, but any other color you enjoy works as well. Also, make sure your space is well illuminated, so that your body will not be required extra efforts to concentrate.
Besides the things on your desk, improving the rest of your environment (as much as the situation allows) might have a greater impact on your efficiency. Buy some orange flowers and place them in your visual area, place different colorful post-it-s on the closest wall to your desk and use them wisely. Just keep the room as jolly as possible and you will feel the same!
Tell us how you cope with tiredness at work and how well you manage the stress in the office in the comments section below!