Let’s face it, we’ve all faced that post-lunch drowsiness where we struggle to stay awake at work. Or maybe your overall energy level is less than your coworkers and you think it may hold you back. While you may be familiar with some of the more common ways to increase your energy levels throughout the day, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time, getting at least 8 hours of sleep, eating more iron, and exercising more, there are other things you can do to give yourself more fuel for the workday and get that competitive edge. Try a combination of common and not-so-common methods of boosting your energy and you will see the positive impact it will have on your career.
1. Become Friends With Your Co-workers
Maybe you are the type of employee who prefers to keep your work life separate from your personal life, but sharing some of the more minor details of your life and becoming friends with your co-workers can help turn a day that drags into a day that rocks. Share what you’ve done on the weekend and be sure to ask your coworkers what they’ve done. Breaking up the day with some conversations will help you refocus when you get back to your desk
2. Create Achievable Goals and Objectives
Nothing is worse than not completing items on your “to do” list. Create a list of achievable goals that will energize you as you check them off and will impress your manager at the same time. Variety is the spice of life, too many repetitive tasks can quickly sap your energy and make you feel fatigued. Create a schedule of tasks that will allow you to leverage different skills. Spend time deciding on the things in your workday that truly matter and make sure you achieve them. Break up projects into smaller tasks so that you can get some short term achievements (which is motivating) on your way to completing the overall project.
3. Eat More Protein
Start your day with a protein rich breakfast (not cereal or other carbohydrates). Protein at the start of the day will give you what you need to focus and achieve. Proteins like peanut butter, eggs, beans and quinoa give you long lasting energy to help you get those reports in before the end of the day. But that is not all, you should also have a protein rich lunch. Don’t eat a big lunch that does not provide energy. Lastly, save some calories for a late afternoon protein bar to give you that extra push to finish the day.
4. Get Moving
Don’t sit at your desk all day long. You should stand up at least once every hour (set a timer if you need to). Walking around as you talk with your manager or coworkers helps you squeeze in some exercise and keeps you from suffering from desk job syndrome. Skip the interoffice phone calls and take that walk down the hall to speak with your coworkers.
5. Stop Straining Your Eyes
If your eyes feel dry, watery, sore or sensitive to the light, then chances are that you’re straining them. You can combat this by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. You can also switch to an ergonomic desk and chair to help your entire body feel more comfortable as you’re working.
6. Get Some Fresh Air – Take a Walk Outside
Depending on where you work, there may be a quiet area where you can take a power nap (20 minutes should do the trick). Another good way to feel refreshed is to walk around outside of the office for a little while. Take a quick walk outside your building, run a quick errand or go grab those office supplies that you’ve been thinking about. Don’t eat at your desk everyday. Take a walk for lunch and find a new spot to eat every few weeks. Stretching your legs, getting some fresh air and feeling the sun on your face can work magic on your energy levels.
Don’t just rely on coffee and energy drinks alone to keep your productivity levels up throughout the day. Switch things up to keep from feeling as though you’re stuck in a rut and to get as much energy out of your body and mind as possible while at work.
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