Everything is planned, you have worked all the way along to schedule your day. The plan is nailed down and you’re ready to go! Oh, but wait! You’re engines won’t start! They are freezed with fatigue and tiredness. Every task that you perform in a day, no matter how mundane, including deciding what you’re going to have for breakfast, has a power sapping potential.
You’re so busy with planning up your entire day that your brain uses up most of your energy and all you’re left with is fatigue and weariness. More and more of us are finding it overwhelming to juggle with the numerous demands of work while keeping a sustainable healthy mind and body. How many times have you found yourself with little or no energy left to accomplish the task on your hand. Not that it is because of your competence, but mainly because you have used up your resources!
“More, Bigger, Faster“, has always been the motive since the Industrial revolution and still carries on till date. But this is seriously an imprudent and misguided assumption of work ethos.
This motive has been established on the notion of the infinite resources of humans. But the amount of work you end up doing directly depends on the amount of time you cater to it. Time is a limited resource and you end up having more tasks to accomplish in that little period. This drains your energy and leaves you susceptible to fatigue, affecting your future work.
Let’s put this in a scientific perspective. Physicists have long before established, that Energy is the capacity to do work. Time is a finite resource and you can’t increase your working hours abruptly. Just like time, energy is finite, but it is renewable or replenish-able.
How To Have More Energy For Work
So, all you need to do to have more energy for breezing past your work is to renew your energy periodically, in a day. “Less is more” is the new mantra for accomplishing your tasks and renewing your energy from time to time is a must for doing so.
There are a few tips that would definitely help you to have more energy for your work. A little management of resources is all you need to be at your best next time at work.
Kick mundane decisions away
Most of the people get stuck up with thoughts like what they are going to have for breakfast, which dress to wear for the weekend party, and so on. These thoughts are the little obstacles that quietly sap your energy. This is known as ‘Decision Fatigue’.
Do not drain away your energy by pointless and mundane decision making. These minute thinking gazumps your energy and all your left with is fatigue for doing your important work.
No longer than 90 minutes at stretch
In the 1950s, researchers William Dement and Nathaniel Kleitman discovered that we sleep in cycles of around 90 minutes, moving from light to deep sleep and back out again. They named this pattern the Basic-Rest Activity Cycle or BRAC.
This theory has been tested out numerous times and the results were mesmerizing. They found that the best performers, athletes, musicians, artists, etc., typically practice in uninterrupted sessions that last no more than 90 minutes. Gluing to your chair for the entire work hours has severe health implications on humans.
“Most of us can’t stay focused on one task for longer than 90 minutes.”
- Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of the Energy Project, a group that boosts business productivity.
Careful what you eat
The quality of work you end up doing also depends on your dietary habits. What you eat matters a lot. Drink lots of water, avoid Caffeine or use it wisely, Get more Vitamin C, Eat smaller and frequent meals, have a light lunch, and avoid alcohol during lunch. Get more energy bars with nuts and that should help you finish off the day on a high.
Here’s what Lifehacker says about food habits:
“A diet comprised mainly of carbohydrates. . . . is a recipe for a constant cycle of blood-sugar highs, lows, and the accompanying feelings of exhaustion that go with them. If carbohydrates are the kindling of your metabolism, protein is the slow burning old-growth wood that keeps you going.”
Don’t over-strain your eyes
There are many consequences of eye straining. And being at work for most of them requires hours of continuous peeping at your computer screens. This could also cause to drain your energy and leaving you with blurred visions, watery eyes and difficulty in focusing.
Try blinking your eyes 15 times in a minute, the more the better. Frequent blinking of eyes has great positive results on your eyes. Also try taking your eyes off the screen for a minute occasionally.
Take Power naps
Buffer co-founder Leo Widrich has always managed to take a nap at 3 p.m, every day, for two years. Power naps are the best source of energy regaining and you wake up fresh and energetic. Do not do it on your chair, you might get kicked out for sleeping at work!
Keep your power nap short, say, 5-10 minutes max.
Don’t neglect Healthcare
As the saying goes, “A healthy body is a healthy mind“, keep yourself healthy and at your best to be more productive at work. A healthy body would definitely have more energy to do work. Try clearing yourselves off common colds, sinusitis, etc., that would leave you with more energy to concentrate on your work at hand. Monitor your health and pay occasional visit to your family doctor for health check-ups to keep you at your best.
Games & Socializing
Play a quick game. That would give you the much needed break from the debilitating stress. Offices usually contain a pool/snooker, table tennis, etc for recreational purposes. Head out with a few colleagues and have a great game. Make sure you set your time limit on socializing and games, you don’t your boss to say something. Make friends at work, this way you could clear up your differences and work peacefully. See to it that you don’t end up your entire time gossiping at your desk.
This has been covered innumerable times at every hoarding, every television advertisement and on the packet of cigarette itself. But, seriously, cigarette smoking has severe effects on your energy for doing work.
Nicotine is as harmful as it can be, and you must avoid it at all costs to save your energy for work.
Here’s what Zenhabits has to say about smoking and work:
“Ex-smokers frequently report an energy boost of 2-3x when they quit smoking. Nicotine affects your sleep, so you don’t get as good a night’s sleep. That makes you cranky, frustrated and tired the next day. Which leads to more smoking. It’s a vicious energy sapping cycle.”
Here is a video which shows the benefit on your health after you stop smoking:
Try keeping your work desk as clean and simple as possible. A desk piled up with things and papers gives more stress in addition. Take a minute or two to clean up your work desk and get yourself organized.
Less stress equals more energy to do work. Organize all your belongings and have them in place, it would also help you find things quickly, saving time and reducing stress.
Get Some Physical activity
Don’t glue to your work desk the entire time even during your lunch. Go out for lunch. 34 percent of employees sit at their work desk during lunch. Do head out for lunch sometimes, you could get the needed Vitamin D from sunshine and regulates your metabolism.
Get some physical exercise in a day like a short run, or some time at the gym. A high-intensity exercise would increase the energy levels by 20 percent, according to exercise physiologist Michael Bracko.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
The human body requires 7-8 hours of sound sleep to recover fully for the next day. Anything less than 6 hours of sleep would lead to sleep deprivation and it is a cycle of destruction that goes on and on. A human body usually takes 30 minutes to get into deep sleep after hitting the pillow. If you are fast asleep as soon as you hit the pillow, you might be suffering from sleep deprivation.
Don’t drink yourself to sleep at night, that would leave you with more fatigue for the next day. Get a good night’s sleep and avoid night-overs during weekdays.
Take Mini Vacations
Vacations are fun, aren’t they? Try taking a mini vacation to the place you have always wanted to visit. This is one of the best way to replenish your weary energy levels. Have a sound and restful weekend at least, if a vacation is not possible.
Take a day off and head out to place leaving behind all your worries, tensions, chores and errands behind. That would bring you back with replenished energy levels and motivated for your next day’s work!
That was me, what about you? How do you manage to have energy for all your work? Shout out your thoughts and comments below.