The United States Department of Labor has released statistics indicating that productivity at work is up and employment is down. That means that fewer people are in the workplace, but now they have to work harder and longer. Since there are only 24 hours in a day, regardless of how much work you have to fit in, you not only have to maintain a higher level of productivity but also maintain the energy to do so. It is also important to stay happy. Otherwise, you will drag yourself down and wind up affecting other people along the way.
We’ve all experienced the afternoon lull. The after-lunch naptime need. The 3 o’clock slump. The best thing to do is to get plenty of sleep at night. That may seem obvious, but the demands of work are keeping people so busy these days, sometimes we forget the simple things that make us feel energized. Here are a few ways to help you energize and get through the work day at times like these.
Eat healthy and don’t go in for a big lunch. Ever notice how a big, heavy meal makes you want to curl up and sleep for an hour or so? When you are too full, all your body’s energy goes into digesting the meal, hence the after-lunch coma. Take a different approach and look at lunch as fuel for your afternoon in the office. Also, packing your lunch gives you more time to have a relaxing meal. You won’t waste time driving to and from a restaurant.
Get up and move. Stretch, breath, and go for a walk to feel refreshed and awake. Stretching and twisting your body can improve circulation, which helps keep you alert and awake.
Getting up from your chair and computer can rejuvenate your body and your mind. Go for an afternoon stroll outside. 15 minutes in the sun can increase your vitamin D levels, fighting fatigue. But remember, not all exercise will wake you up. Don’t push yourself like you would at the gym. Try simple exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches, and squats. Do just enough to get your blood flowing.
Don’t let yourself fall into the nap trap. If you develop the habit of always taking a nap during lunch, or at a certain time of day, you will soon find out that you have trained your brain to sleep at that time. Then, when it becomes necessary to stay awake and work through that time, you’ll be fighting to stay awake. We’ve all felt that “I can’t stay awake, must sleep now,” feeling, and it’s not easy to fight.
Make sure you are drinking water regularly. Drinking water throughout the day will make you feel less hungry and more energetic. Feeling good sparks motivation and effort so that you will maintain productivity at work. Although drinking a moderate amount of coffee (1-3 cups) can make you more energetic and alert, drinking too much will cause dehydration and will sap your energy. Colas, energy drinks, and sports drinks fall into this same category.
We all know that the key to productivity at work is sleep at home. But remember, there is such a thing as too much sleep. Too much sleep can cause us to feel tired the next day, also. Luckily for us, there are ways to fight the slump before it starts. Just being aware of the need to stay alert and productive is half the battle.