by Lesley Vos
Do you like coffee?
For some office workers, it’s the only way to cheer up on mornings. They can’t start working until they have a cup or two of this drink, considering coffee the only method to boost energy at the workplace during a day.
Indeed, coffee has many benefits proven by scientists: it reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and depression. If you want to take a hit from it, you need to know how much coffee is enough and when to drink it. But anyway, it can’t be the only recipe to “wake up” and start working efficiently.
Below are ten alternative ways to stay productive during a working day. Some might find them even better than coffee. Regardless of your business role in the organization, – you can do marketing, write essays and other content types, sell a product, manage teams, etc. – these tricks will influence your work efficiency for the better.
Boosting efficiency tip #1: Unglue from a screen
Scientists don’t have any clear evidence if the glare from your smartphone or computer age your skin. What they know for sure is that it has a negative impact on your well-being. A focus loss, dry eye syndrome, and “sandpaper” in eyes are symptoms decreasing your productivity and causing a headache. They can happen after 2-3 hours of computer work, not to speak of a whole day.
When you feel that everything swims before your eyes and you want to sleep, try to unglue from the screen and look out the window. Also, do eye exercises to avoid fatigue, strain, and other problems with your vision.
Boosting efficiency tip #2: Eat something sweet
Often, your procrastination is not about laziness but a low blood sugar level. It can happen both when you are hungry and after a launch high in carbohydrates: increasing the hormone insulin, it also activates “sleepy” hormones such as tryptophan and serotonin in the brain. That’s why the fastest way to raise blood sugar level, which is to eat something sweet, doesn’t last for a long time.
The best variant would be food full of cellulose (broccoli, avocado, Brussel sprouts), iron (dark chocolate, spinach, rosefinch), and vitamin C (cauliflower, oranges, lemons).
Boosting efficiency tip #3: Drink water
Here goes Captain Obvious again: when stressed or hungry, drink a glass of water. When dehydrated, your body starts losing energy you need to finish a project, write an email, complete a presentation, or, as a minimum, wake up.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine say that an adequate fluid intake (per day) is about 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women. This amount includes fluid from food and beverage, but don’t forget to drink clean water as well.
Boosting efficiency tip #4: Take a walk
According to science, daylight is among the most powerful factors influencing our optimism and good spirits during a day. A lack of sunlight in the office leads to Hypovitaminosis D, making us feel stressed and depressed. It’s not the condition you need for better productivity at work, is it?
Spend 15-20 minutes of your lunchtime walking. It will boost spirits, inspire you, and motivate you to work more efficiently.
Boosting efficiency tip #5: Dance
The benefits of physical exercises are hard to overestimate. They boost mood, energy, and overall health for better work of your body and mind. If your working environment allows doing exercises at an office, it’s fantastic: 10-20 minutes of your time, water, a towel, sportswear – and your productivity will grow sky high.
This trick works with non-systematic exercises, too. So if you don’t have an opportunity to attend a gym or spend time on cardio workouts at the office, a few minutes of dancing or mere moving can boost concentration and attention, as well.
Falling asleep at work? Turn on a video where everybody dances, stand up and start moving. It will help to catch a break and then continue working with renewed vigor.
Boosting efficiency tip #6: Take a deep breath
Deep breathing is one of the most efficient ways to deal with stressful overwork. It’s not that difficult to practice when you need to relax and calm down right here and now. Breathing exercises not only settle your nerves but also help to boost energy we all need for productive work.
That’s simple: the more air you breathe in, the more oxygen comes into your blood – and the more energy your cells get. And here comes a lifehack: practice a so-called yoga breathing (do it by a belly, not lungs), which allows you to get more air in a body.
Boosting efficiency tip #7: Listen to music
Based on experiments scientists do to research how music influences our bodies and minds, most of them are desperate music addicts. For instance, they’ve recently found out that ASMR from music speaks for a brain’s specific structure; or that the men in love with rock music have a higher level of testosterone. But what we need to know about music is that it helps to concentrate on tasks.
To be sure, background music doesn’t work for everyone, and its positive effect takes place only when you deal with monotonous work. Also, the fact is that 15-20 minutes of listening to favorite tracks give a boost to the hormone dopamine, influencing our motivation and ability to training.
Boosting efficiency tip #8: Chew a gum
You may know that a process of chewing encourages information storage. It helps to concentrate, especially when it comes to urgent tasks. You can chew apples or nuts at work, but a sugar-free gum can be a fair alternative as well.
Scientists say that chewing can become an efficient method of dealing with sleepiness: it speeds up a circulation of blood and therefore activates brain areas responsible for memory and attention. Also, chewing gums encourage understanding and help to deal with anxiety over a task.
Boosting efficiency tip #9: Watch animals videos
Can’t help but watch Egbert the Mini Pig or spend your lunchtime on Animals Videos updates? Welcome to the club of people who do it right: according to the research, such videos boost mood as well as encourage brain activity. Thus, the 2015 survey of nearly 7000 Internet users showed that watching cat videos influenced people’s energy level and helped them deal with a tense atmosphere in the working environment.
Boosting efficiency tip #10: Take a nap
If nothing else helps, take a nap. According to scientists, a short sleep (from 5 to 25 minutes) about 6-7 hours before you go to bed and spend the whole night there is a great way to cope with sleepiness and lack of motivation.
More than that, the authors of the 2009 study called an afternoon nap a more effective investment in well-being than sleeping on weekends or drinking coffee during the day.
Sleeping in the middle of the day improves learning abilities, positively affects memory, and activates creative thinking.
Do you have own tricks for dealing with procrastination and low efficiency at work? What motivates and gives you energy in the office? Don’t hesitate to share in the comments.
For more tips on how to increase productivity: