We have all experienced it. It comes to just after lunch and BAM - that post lunchtime slump hits you. Suddenly, every ounce of productivity leaves your body, and it takes all of your energy just to keep your eyes open. It is hardly ideal for getting your job done, is it? If you feel unhealthy and unfit because you sit in front of your desk, you are far from being alone. Here, we look at some of our top tips for staying productive and healthy while working in the office.
Think About Your Natural Sleep Pattern
To help you work properly it is crucial to get enough sleep. Some people require a full eight hours, others need far less. However much sleep you need, knowing and understanding your sleeping patterns and finding a way to get the right amount of sleep will help you to be much more productive at work.
For years we have been reminded of the importance of breakfast, but still, so many of us skip it. It is the meal that gives you the energy to get going in the morning - giving you a much better mindset for work and keeping you focused. Skipping this meal will mess up the rest of your eating routine- you will end up being really hungry at your other meals, which can make you eat too much and feel lethargic.
Get In The Right Frame Of Mind
A healthy frame of mind is undoubtedly going to help you be more productive at work. Start off your day on the right foot by listening to your favourite music, thinking about what you need to do that day and perhaps meditate. Many people cite meditation - something as simple as sitting silently and focusing on breathing properly for a couple of minutes in the morning - as the secret behind their success. Why not give it a go?
We are often told to dress to impress, and of course, in some environments that is important. However, you also need to feel comfortable in what you are wearing. If you don’t, you are going to be feeling conscious of your appearance and how it feels instead of concentrating on your work.
Cut The Coffee
If you guzzle cup after cup of coffee in an attempt to remain alert, stop. Caffeine is a stimulant and cutting down will make you feel calmer and in the long term give you more energy. It will also help you sleep better, as caffeine can disrupt sleep.
Leave The Energy Drinks Alone
Some energy drinks have even more caffeine than coffee, and contain high sugar content, which can really send you into a slump.
In order to function properly, the body and brain require certain minerals and vitamins. Eating healthy food at the appropriate times can make a huge impact to your mental acuity during the day. Eating well will also assist you in maintaining a healthy weight.
Drink Plenty Of Water
It has been reported that as much as three-quarters of us do not drink enough. You may well be one of them. Even being slightly dehydrated - just enough to feel thirsty - can be enough to make you feel tired and unproductive. Aim to drink eight glasses of water a day.
Sit Up Straight
It can have substantial adverse consequences if you have poor posture when you're working. Headaches, sore eyes, and backache are just some of the first signs of sitting badly. Sit comfortably and don't slouch - making sure you have a comfortable and ergonomically designed chair is essential.
Make sure you're doing everything that you can to keep your body on the move. Go to the gym or an exercise class, cycle or walk to work if possible, go for a run on your lunch break - anything you can do to increase the physical activity in your day will keep blood flowing and stabilise the amount of oxygen in your body and brain.
Use Hand and Arm Support
We do a lot of typing and computer work in the office. In order to prevent painful problems such as tennis elbow, tendonitis, and arthritis, use a support for your wrists and hands, especially when using a laptop.
Make sure that your workspace and computer monitor is adequately lit to prevent eye strain and headaches. Natural lighting is always the best way of lighting, but if that is in short supply, take care with the artificial lights - bright overhead lights can be uncomfortable too.
Take Regular Screen Breaks
Spending hours looking at a computer monitor is not great for eyesight. Try to follow the 20:20:20 rule - focus your eyes on something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds every 20 minutes - at the very least to prevent damage to the eyes.
Wash Your Hands Thoroughly
Washing your hands before and after you eat, after you have used the toilet, or coughed or sneezed will help to prevent infections and the spread of viruses and bacteria.
Clean Up Your Desk
Your desk is an unexpected hive of bacteria and dirt. Make sure you give it a good clean regularly to prevent excess dust and dirt from causing you problems.
Take A Break
Being productive does not mean working through your break. In fact, that can be counterproductive. Don't miss or work through your lunch break; it is essential to enable you to work well in the second part of your day. Eat your lunch, go out for a stroll, and have a few moments to yourself.
Maintain A Decent Work/Life Balance
When it is time to go home, leave your work at work and go home and relax. Constantly thinking and worrying about work is not conducive to good mental health.
Learn To Manage Your Stresses
Work can be stressful, and so can our outside lives. Learn to recognise what is making you stressed and find ways to deal with them - mindfulness, meditation, planning - whatever you find helpful.
Get Plenty Of Fresh Air
Fresh air is a great thing for our health. It can instantly lift our mood and give us a renewed sense of energy and purpose. Go for a brief stroll on your lunch break, or if that is not possible, open a window to circulate fresh air in the office.
Smile and Have Fun
Last, but not least: smile. Smiling has a great effect on you. It releases endorphins that make us happy, which in turn lifts our mood. Have fun at work - you spend enough time there; why not enjoy it?