6 Hacks to Boost Your Productivity During the Work Day

The mid-day slump is real and it’s something almost everyone battles at work. At right about 2 or 3 in the afternoon, you start to get sleepy and productivity slides. You reach for caffeine or sugar in an attempt to stay awake and alert. However, there is a healthier, more effective alternative to pumping your body full of energy drinks and sweet treats. Here are some hacks if you find yourself too reliant on unhealthy strategies to get more done at work.

Sleep Hygiene

Minor sleepiness during the day is perfectly normal, but, if you struggle to keep working after lunch, you could be sleep-deprived. Experts agree that adults need 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night and that most of us don’t receive that.

To sleep better and longer, start by working on your habits. The practice of good sleep hygiene requires consistency. Resist the temptation to stay up late or sleep in on the weekends to avoid breaking your routine. The sleep experts from SleepMoment found that a routine for bedtime and waking will help. Here are some tips for creating a sleep routine:

  • Go to bed at the same time nightly
  • Wake up at the same time each morning
  • Avoid using screens in bed
  • Avoid caffeine in the afternoon
  • Keep your bedroom comfortable and the temperature cool
  • Exercise and spend some time outside every day

Eat for Energy

Food is fuel and how you fuel your body and mind impacts your wakefulness and ability to be productive at work. Eat nutritious foods that provide natural energy, like nuts for healthy fats and fruits for sugar. Avoid junk food and added sugar. Instead, eat a well-rounded, nutritious diet that allows your body to function optimally.

Avoid heavy foods for lunch, which will make you sleepy and worsen the afternoon slump. A little caffeine at lunch may help you stay alert for the rest of the day, but avoid it from about mid-afternoon on so it doesn’t interfere with sleep.

Reduce Stress

Stress is energy draining. It also prevents you from getting enough sleep. Studies show that poor sleep equates to at least two weeks of lost productivity at work. Too little sleep only leads to more stress and the cycle continues.

If you can manage stress in your daily life, you’ll sleep better and have more energy during the workday. If you can’t eliminate sources of stress, use healthy coping strategies. These include meditation, deep breathing, exercise, and even therapy, if necessary.

Avoid Substances

It should go without saying, but avoid a boozy lunch. Cocktails at lunch may seem like a good co-worker bonding experience, but even one drink can put you to sleep by mid-afternoon.

You may also be tempted to drink at night to wind down and get to sleep faster. This can backfire, especially if you do it regularly or have more than one or two drinks. Studies show that drinking before bed disrupts the second half of the night’s sleep.

Move More

When you’re low energy, the last thing you may want to do is get up and exercise. If you can make an effort, though, you’ll reap the benefit of greater energy. Instead of taking a snack break at work, get up and take a brisk walk. Go outside or walk around indoors to boost your energy.

For better sleep every night, make regular exercise a priority. Exercise is beneficial for your health in many ways, including promoting better sleep. Even as little as a fast walk for 30 minutes a day is enough to improve sleep. Although, avoid vigorous or high-intensity exercise too close to bedtime as it can keep you awake.

Socialize

A strong social support network is essential for good health and can even boost your energy. Feeling isolated or lonely affects your mood negatively. It can also leave you feeling tired and becomes a self-feeding cycle. If you feel down from being lonely, you’re unlikely to go out and make connections—in turn, this only makes you feel lower.

Spend your breaks at work hanging out with colleagues. Take a short walk and talk about something other than work. Make time after work to do something with friends or talk with family on the phone. All of these can help boost your mood and energy level.

Caffeine is Not the Answer

The standard strategy of reaching for a sugary coffee drink doesn’t help improve productivity and energy in the long term. It may give you a quick boost, but, over time, these healthy strategies will provide you with lasting, increased energy so you can get more done.

 

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