You start the workday feeling fresh and bright-eyed, though as the day continues, you slowly feel your energy diminish. You feel your motivation, focus, and productivity lessen as you edge into the afternoon.
Rather than reaching for that extra cup of coffee or settling for a Luna bar for lunch, consider these ways to amp up your creativity and productivity.
Maintain your energy throughout the entire duration of your workday with a few simple adjustments to your lifestyle and work practices.
Maintain the energy of your body and mind, with the right brain-boosting foods. The World Health Organization has found that foods rich in micronutrients can enhance brain power by as much as 20 percent. Berries make for an excellent snack, as they are rich in antioxidants and can improve both memory and motor coordination.
Add a little salmon lox onto your midday bagel or sandwich — salmon has omega-3s, iron and B-vitamins, which will support memory, recall, reasoning and focus. This means you can strut into that afternoon presentation with the confidence you’ll be thinking straight. Steer clear of foods high in sugar or heavy in calories, as they will make your energy levels unstable and result in hindered productivity.
Regular exercise will help increase your energy, sharpen your focus, enhance your mood and improve your memory. According to Dr. John Ratey, author of “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain,” exercise can aid short-term focus and reduce long-term brain aging.
Before you have a big meeting or presentation, schedule a fitness class to get your blood pumping. Swap out those heels for some tennis shoes on your lunch break and take a walk around the block or to your local park.
There are many classes like indoor cycling, Zumba and aerobics offered at 24 Hour Fitness that make for the perfect lunch break workouts too. You can clean up after your class, reapply a little lipstick and enter your meeting refreshed and recharged.
Moment of Mindfulness
The workplace can be an environment of frenzy and stress. There are many opportunities for to get overwhelmed, which is detrimental for the function and focus of your mind. Meditation is an effective remedy for stress, as it will help you calm, focus and center your thoughts.
Take 10 minutes to meditate before your work day or during lunch. Meditation is best done in a quiet place; your car or office are both suitable spaces. If you need help with your meditation practice, use an app like Headspace for guided meditation programs.
The Right Environment
Your workspace is very closely linked with your headspace. Your office or desk should be organized and orderly, so you aren’t distracted by an overflow of contents. Create a solid organization system, which will help keep the aesthetic clean and boost your efficiency. Oftentimes office distractions can add up and hinder projects that require concentration.
If you can work off-site, find a space, whether at home, a cafe, a library or a park, where you can reduce interruptions. If it’s a place you can add some personality, do so. A favorite photo, your “World’s Best Mom” mug, whatever makes you feel ready to tackle the day, add it to your space for a little motivation boost.
Timing is everything, especially in the workplace. Set yourself up for success with a strategically scheduled day. Take on your more challenging tasks in the morning, when your brain is fresh. In the afternoon, when your energy levels are lower and your brain is more fatigued, complete any small tasks or busy work.
Constant, compulsive email-checking is a major time waste and will quickly distract you from your work. Schedule specific morning, afternoon and evening times to check and respond to emails, so you can remain focused on your projects.