Most of us go above and beyond the typical 40 hour workweek. Because of this, it’s easy to fall behind on a projects – even if you’re an incredibly self-motivated individual. There are, however, a number of ways that you can stay focused on your most important tasks everyday. And, you can start by implementing the following 15 energy tasks.
1. Get Enough Sleep
One of the best ways to boost your energy and stay motivated is to get enough sleep. According to the National Institutes of Health, a good night’s sleep helps you learn, keeps you physically healthy, improves your performance. Those who are sleep deficiency “take longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and make more mistakes.”
To help prevent the blue light from your tablet or smartphone keeping you awake, download f.lux. It will adjust the color of your screen to match the time of day.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet throughout the day will ensure that you have enough energy to stay motivated and productive. For example, foods like salmon, berries, nuts, avocados, eggs, bananas, and brown rice have all been found to boost your productivity. Also, don’t forget to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
3. Get The Blood Pumping
Whether it’s doing a two and a half minute core routine first thing in the morning or going to for a walk in the middle of the day keeps your brain active and releases endorphins. If you you can’t make it to the gym or have enough time to leave the office, there are plenty of low-impact exercises that you can do at your desk or office.
4. Take a Power Nap
Shutting your eyes for 15 to 20 minutes is a great to recharge the batteries, as well as improving your memory and reducing cholesterol. Be warned, however, dozing off for more than 30 minutes can revered these benefits. If you want to master the power nap, The Boston Globe has created an excellent resource for learning how to nap properly.
5. Visualize Your Day
According to Matt Mayberry on Entrepreneur, “if you can’t picture yourself achieving a goal, chances are you won’t.” Mayberry suggests that you take “about 10 to 15 minutes picturing yourself achieving each” goal that you’ve set everyday. Get as detailed as possible and then “Visualize yourself succeeding, achieving every goal, completing every task. See what it does for you and how it makes you feel. This will likely become a pivotal part of your success arsenal.”
6. Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine can definitely give you a quick pick me up. The problem is that what goes up must come down. So while that cup of coffee will give you an immediate jolt, if you consume too much, you’ll crash and end up with a case of the jitters. Instead, rethink your caffeine intake. Drink coffee or tea more slowly and in moderation throughout the day. Instead of one large cup of Joe, drink half a cup of coffee sporadically.
7. Expose Yourself to Natural Light
It’s recommended by the National Institutes of Health that people go outside for 10 to 15 minutes each day in order to soak up the sun. Doing so increases your Vitamin D intake which strengthens your immune system and energy levels. On top of that, when you go outside, you have a chance to clear your head and rid yourself of distractions so that you can focus on important tasks.
8. Modify The Workplace
There are a couple of ways that you can alter your workplace in order to make you more energized. For starters, you can paint your office the right color. It’s been found that blue can stimulate the mind. This would make it an ideal color for professionals like accountants. Yellow is the prefered color for creativity, red for physical stimulation, and green for those who seek balance.
You should also keep the thermostat at between 70-72 degrees. And, consider using a standing desk if you’re in the right profession.
9. Stimulate Your Sense of Smell
Scent is an extremely powerful sense. It can even relieve mental fatigue and increase your alertness. To take advantage of this, you could use refreshing oils that contain scents like peppermint, basil, rosemary, geranium, and eucalyptus.
10. Take Regular Breaks
You don’t have to step away from a project for 30 minutes or more when you feel exhausted. Science has proven that taking 5-minute breaks throughout the day will prevent boredom that leads to getting unfocused, helps us reevaluate goals, and allows us to daydream. That last point may seem counterproductive, but daydreaming allows us to solve those problems that you just can’t seem to overcome.
11. Listen to Music
Music has been found to release endorphins, drown out distracting background noise, and can get the heart pumping if it’s upbeat. Of course, not all music can have the same effect on productivity. Classical music has long been a favorite among people looking for a boost. However, movie soundtracks and video game scores are also suggested.
12. Calculate Your “Biological Prime Time”
Have you ever heard someone describe themselve as either a ‘morning person’ or ‘night owl?’ These people have already figured out the time of day that they’re most productive. And, that’s exactly what a “Biological Prime Time” is.
If you want to calculate your BPT, you start by creating a chart that tracks your focus, motivation, and energy for three weeks. It’s recommend that you log your energy level every hour, on the hour. It may seem a little daunting at first, but with this information so you can plan your workday accordingly.
13. Optimize Your To-Do-Lists
To-do-lists are are a great way to keep you organized. But, if you have a bulky to-do-list, you’re going to get overwhelmed. And, what happens when you’re bogged with too many tasks? You’re focused on finding out where to start, as opposed to staying focused on the task at hand.
Keep your to-do-lists minimal – preferably the three tasks that are an absolute priority. If finish those essential task, you can always review the rest of your day and add the less important tasks to your list.
14. Shake Up Your Workday
Sometimes you need more than a 5-minute breather to break-up the monotony. In the middle of the day when you feel like you’re about to crash, it’s best for you to shake things up a bit. For example, if you work at home, consider going to your favorite coffee shop for a couple of hours. If you work in an office, spend some time socializing with coworkers or going out for a walk during your lunch break.
15. Avoid Burnout
Even if you love your job and look forward to working, there are still times when you’re going to battle getting burnt out. You can avoid getting burnt out by establishing boundaries on the hours that you work, asking for help when you’re swamped, using productivity, and taking that well-deserved vacation.