Whether you work late nights or wake up early to head to the office, we all see our energy levels dip throughout a day at work. Low energy levels can leave you feeling exhausted, unfocused and unproductive, while also impeding your ability to form strong relationships with both colleagues and clients.
Here are 8 practical and healthy ideas on how to remain sharp and energised at work.
Get moving! Exercise is one of the most effective ways to boost your energy. Whether it’s a morning jog, gym session or a yoga class after work, the flow of oxygen to your brain through exercise will eliminate feelings of fatigue. If you do not have enough time in your daily schedule for a health and fitness routine, keep in mind that simply walking home or using the stairs instead of the lift will still have a positive effect. Moreover, move around at every chance you get; standing up can help improve circulation, leading to extra energy and less painful neck cramps! Get up from your desk and go and talk to your colleague rather than resorting to having an internal call!
Drink water! Dehydration happens when you body does not have as much water as it needs, leaving you feeling drained and fatigued. You do not necessary have to follow the “2 litre” a day rule, but ensure you drink water regularly and never feel thirsty! Put it into your routine to go to the kitchen or water dispenser for a refill every few hours. The walk there will also keep you awake and energised. Alternatively, you can keep a large water bottle on your desk to remind you to take frequent sips. It’s worth pointing out that herbal teas and natural fruit juices also contribute healthily to your total fluid intake.
3. Healthy Snacking
Go nuts! Eating a handful of almonds, peanuts or walnuts, food which is rich in magnesium and folic acid, is a great source of energy. Other alternatives are quinoa, goji berries, avocado, banana and dark chocolate (70% plus) - they are excellent energy boosting foods. Stay away from the tasty, high-fat snack, which will most likely lead to an energy crash later in the day. It is also important not to skip the most important meal of the day - breakfast - a protein rich breakfast can regulate your energy levels so you do not crash mid-morning! Always keep in mind that your brain needs fuel to function at its best!
4. Clean up your Workspace
Be organised! Studies have shown that messy desks can have a negative impact on work productivity and energy levels, as this may lead to less structure and make you feel overwhelmed. It would be a good idea to take a few minutes to organise your desk and clear up any clutter - clean that coffee mug, reorganize a pile of papers and get rid of everything which is not useful. Tidying up will make you feel productive and in control, while also being a perfect way to take a short break.
5. To Do Lists
Keep calm! Take some time to prioritize your workload. If you start feeling overwhelmed, just write a to-do list for the next few hours and just focus on that! It’s also a good idea to look at your calendar and inbox for the following day or even week, in order to set goals and deadlines - the trick to this is planning without stressing yourself out!
6. Take a Break
Now go take a break! This may seem as the simplest and most obvious solution. But is it? Look out of the window, walk around the block, grab a glass of water or simply take a quick break at your desk - give yourself 5 minutes of doing nothing. Combat that inner feeling that you are being lazy or unproductive; breaks in fact will increase productivity and creativity. Taking breaks with upbeat colleagues can give you a real kick! Laughter can improve overall energy levels and emotions are surprisingly contagious. Whenever possible take your break outdoors, breathing in the fresh air and basking in the sunlight! Spending time outside is good for our bodies and minds.
7. Listen to your Favourite Tunes
Rock out that stress! Music is a powerful tool, it can be used at any time to shift our mood and energy levels, and it works quickly! Log onto Youtube, Spotify or any other platform and listen to an energetic and uplifting playlist! Singing also helps to reduce stress hormones in your body. So if your stress levels are high, you are shy of your co-workers or work in a customer facing role, you may want to sing along to your favourite tunes in the shower or in the car - where we all think we sound like Freddie Mercury!
8. Plan your Sleep
A healthy night’s sleep! One way to keep you energised is going to bed at a consistent time every day. It’s good to determine how much sleep you actually need, and ensure you get ready for bed at the right time. Planning your sleep is especially important on a Sunday, in order to start the workweek feeling well-rested and ready to go! It’s also a good idea to set your alarm 15 minutes earlier, so you can wake up slowly and prepare for the day ahead. The worst thing you can do is stay up late and then hit the snooze button in the morning! Sleep is the time when your body can recharge and rejuvenate, so ensure you have the right conditions for a good rest and avoid disrupting your sleep patterns.
Bonus Booster - You thought I would forget coffee?
Time for coffee? Apart from having the ability to increase alertness, coffee is an effective energy booster. Nevertheless, try and curb the temptation to have your first coffee as soon as you wake up. Since caffeine takes about 45 minutes to fully absorb, by delaying your morning cup of coffee the benefits will cover a larger part of your morning at work! In order to maximize the energising effects of coffee, consume it sensibly - too much coffee is unhealthy and can cause stress. Like everything in life - moderation is key!
The rising demands of work are keeping most of us so busy that sometimes we forget the simple things that make us feel energised. Thankfully there are plenty of ways and means to raise our energy levels and stay positive at work.
Your turn. What is your energy booster?
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