When people talk about productivity, most immediately jump to the thought that it’s about being more efficient with your time, and getting as much stuff done in as little time as possible.
In my personal, honest opinion, this is a mindset that will not take you very far when you want to be productive in the workplace. Managing your time is important, but what’s even more important is that you learn how to manage your energy if you want to always be productive.
No one says that you can’t work for 15 hours a day, but it is undeniable that such a tempo will quickly drain you of your energy, and if you’re drained and tired you’ll actually get less done because you won’t have the right kind of mental focus that you need when performing problem-solving tasks.
Today, I want to talk about a few important things that you should look out for if you want to learn to manage your energy better, so without further ado, here they are.
6 Ways to Manage Your Energy for a Maximum Productive Workday
1. Sleep & Napping
Next to food and water, sleep is our body’s most vital resource, and if we don’t get enough of it our performance can quickly go down and our health can deteriorate. Most adults require anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of sleep on average, but it’s really important to emphasize that everyone is different in this matter, so whatever amount you need, make sure that you give your body the opportunity to rest adequately every single day.
Alternatively, a lot of people succeed in having more energy during the day by taking multiple power naps – short periods of sleep between 5 and 30 minutes that can really help energize you and give your brain a chance to take a breather from all the hard work you’ve been doing. Try it – it works.
The less you expend your energy, the less your body will be inclined to spend it at all, so it’s highly recommended that you get some exercise in each day in order to combat this. Exercising daily can improve the flow of oxygen to your limbs as well as your brain, and it also releases the feel-good hormone dopamine, which is always a plus if you want to stay awake and be energetic.
If you can’t find the time to exercise, then doing some deep stretching right after you get up and before you go to bed can do wonders for your energy levels. Fatigue can often come from a physical place, and if you’re stiff in the shoulders and back your body’s instinctive reaction will be to lie down, rest and relax, which is not always something you can afford to do during the workday.
3. Drink More Water
Dehydration can often contribute to exhaustion, which is why it’s always a good idea to have a glass of water on your table. A recent study targeted a small group of 25 women and measured effects of mild dehydration on their cognitive ability and mood. The study proved even slight dehydration can contribute to a degradation in mental focus and a higher chance of headaches.
It’s highly recommended to drink at least 10 cups of water every day, and if you don’t like the taste of water (like a lot of people do these days), you can opt out for natural, unsweetened fruit juices or tea instead. Just make sure that you keep yourself hydrated throughout the workday, and you’ll definitely find that you won’t get fatigued as easily.
4. Frequent Breaks
Research shows that people who take breaks every 30 minutes to an hour of their work – even if it’s just a 5-minute break to drink some coffee, stretch your legs and get some fresh air – are far more productive than those who do not.
Even as little as five minutes is enough for the mind to kind of let go of all that built-up tension. When you come back to your desk, you feel invigorated with new energy and focus and ready to tackle your tasks once again.
5. Make Your Work Fun
A wise man once said, “Find a job that you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” And although that might be a bit of an exaggeration, if you can make your work into something that you genuinely enjoy, even if you don’t love your job, it’s going to seem like it’s a lot easier to do and won’t take as much of your energy. Having to do something that you know you hate and always reminding yourself that you do is very fatiguing and draining. If you can teach yourself to not do that and instead try to find a way to make your work fun, it‘s going to be much more enjoyable and you’ll find that it’s way easier to be productive this way.
6. Productive Environment
I don’t know about you, but I can’t even think about starting work if my desk is a mess and I don’t have my morning coffee, among other things. I also have a problem focusing if there’s a conversation going on in the room, or if there are a lot of people that are constantly walking from place to place in my vicinity.
So I remove all these distractions, I put my phone on airplane mode, I tell everyone that I don’t currently need to be present to vacate my office, and only then can I actually get to work. This is called creating a productive environment, and I believe that it is the key to keeping your energy levels up and being as productive as possible. Do everything you can create this sort of environment for yourself, and I promise that your productivity will skyrocket.
Well, that’s about all the advice I have for you today. I hope that some of it was helpful at least, and wish you the best of luck in harnessing your energy and being productive every single day!
- 6 Ways to Manage Your Energy for a Maximum Productive Workday - December 11, 2017