We’ve all been there. At some point during the workday we are so tired and fatigued that we would trade anything for a comfy pillow and blanket to take a quick nap. For some people this may even happen on most days, whether at work or at home. And for some it may even happen within the first hour of work. It’s important to be aware of one’s level of fatigue, and just as important to know that most workplace fatigue is avoidable. By incorporating just a few of the below tips into your regular routine you may find yourself less tired and more energized than you realized you could be at work.
Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is a must at the office. And water is the best liquid to do the trick. Keep a bottle at your desk and drink it regularly throughout the day. If you are not properly hydrated, you run the risk of feeling tired and lethargic.
Limit your sugar intake. In general, stay away from foods and drinks that may give you energy for a short period of time but also will drag you down later. Think sodas and candy bars. You may feel focused for an hour or so, but after that you will probably feel worse than you did before you ate or drank.
Stay satiated. Don’t allow yourself to get hungry. When you get hungry you can lose focus and become tired. Make a point to keep nutritious snacks nearby and eat a small portion every 90 minutes or 2 hours. Also eat a nutritious breakfast before work, and plan to eat lunch at a reasonable hour.
Stay active. Whether a real quick walk every hour, a desk with a treadmill or bicycle, or even a stand up desk, getting on your feet and getting the blood flowing in your body can provide a real boost of natural energy.
Use the right equipment. Having the correct ergonomic computer accessories can make a world of different for you. This mitigates the possibility of pain or injury because of the equipment you use. When you are concentrating on any pain and trying to compensate for it you often tire quicker and more easily than if you are pain free.
Work in the proper lighting. Make sure to have the right amount of lighting for any task you are working on. Not enough or too much lighting can cause headaches, drowsiness and strain on the eyes. If you can’t do your work without squinting, getting too close to objects or rubbing your eyelids, take a moment to see if your work area is properly lit.
Get enough sleep. For most people the right amount of sleep is at least 7 to 9 hours a night. We know this can be difficult to achieve in a regular basis, but if you are one of those people who is tired for most of the day, than finding a way to get more sleep could be a crucial step to becoming more alert and more productive at work.
Exercise regularly. Whether it’s a 30 minute daily walk or a specific class at your gym each morning, staying active outside of work is a vital part of staying healthy. It also helps you to fight off fatigue because you will have more energy throughout the day.
Get rest when you need to. If you are sick, try and stay away from work, or work in short spurts. To get healthy quicker, you will need a good amount of quality rest. If not, your symptoms could last days or weeks longer, making you less productive over the long haul.
Work in an area that has the thermostat set at an appropriate temperature. If your work area is too hot or too cold, you can become fatigued rather quickly. This is because the temperature can cause you to shiver or sweat, which uses vital energy. Most of us are not in control of the temperature in the rooms we work in, but we can bring in accessories (like blankets or fans) that will help control some of the temperature in the immediate space we work in.
Enjoy fresh air when possible. There’s nothing like fresh air to re-energize you in the middle of a long day. If you are feeling sluggish, make a point to head out for five minutes. Not only with the fresh air benefit you, but taking time away from your tasks can help you become more focused when you return.
So if you’re reading this because you are in the middle of a sluggish day, take one or two tips from above and see how they work for you over the next few days. If you are one of those who feels fatigued almost every day, re-read the list and see how many you can honestly incorporate into your life. Then stick to it for a few weeks and see how you feel.