Tips and strategies for getting (hopefully useful) things done.
Use Simple To-Do Lists
It’s common knowledge that checking off tasks keeps motivation up, so having routine or simple items to check off keeps us going.
Do Tough Work First
Get the tough stuff out of the way, so the stress doesn’t build up over time as you procrastinate. Most people have higher energy in the morning for better tackling tough tasks too.
Go Outside for a Few Minutes
Walking around gets your blood flowing and stretches your muscles. Daylight also helps wake you up and reset your biological clock, lowering drowsiness. Best used around lunchtime before the afternoon slump.
Also take a few minutes to stretch your muscles, which keeps them loose and prevents soreness.
Listen to White Noise or other Background Music
Videos or podcasts split your attention too much when trying to do serious work. Music without lyrics, like electronic or instrumental tracks, are much better for focus.
Eat Protein for Lunch, not Carbs
Avoid pasta and bread. Lunches with things like vegetables, chicken, eggs, tuna, low-fat cheese, and other protein foods are much preferred. Get them all by making a salad!
Get Small Caffeine Doses in the Afternoon
Caffeinated tea, or a single dark chocolate square, are good options.
Avoid caffeine in drinks, like coffee or soda. The doses are too high, and likely lead to you taking in too much sugar.
Peppermint Scents help Energize You
Rubbing peppermint oil over your hands and face works, without bothering your coworkers as much. Strong, minty gum helps, which the motion of chewing perks you up and helps clear out post-lunch mouth bacteria.
Save Group Work for Lazy Moments
Doing work with others always energizes, assuming it’s not boring. This makes it great for snapping out of a low-energy funk.
Do Simple Desk Exercises
- Roll your shoulders forward than backward, pairing each roll with a deep breath
- Tense and hold different muscles for 5-10 seconds each. These include biceps, triceps, calfs, thighs, chest, abdomen, back, and other muscles.
- Take deep, not shallow, breaths that you hold for several seconds.
- Rub your hands until they’re warm, and cup them over your eyes. The darkness and warmth will lower anxiety.
- Stretch your arms out by your sides, shake your hands wildly, and take deep breaths.
- Sit up straight and don’t slouch. This helps circulation, oxygen, and lowers muscle soreness.
Go for Continuous Snacking over Large Meals
Large meals make us feel bloated and slow us down, while smaller meals and snacks give continuous energy without slowing us down as much. Good snacks usually have protein, fiber, and/or complex carbohydrates and include:
- Whole-grain crackers
- Bagel (small pieces, not an entire one)
- Raw vegetables
Take Small Breaks
Small things like walking around the office, staying by the window, or just refilling a drink all help keep stress from building.