You may have read the stats. Workplace productivity is up and employment is down. That can only mean that fewer people are in the workplace but now they have to work harder and longer. No wonder so many people are always tired and sucking down coffee and energy drinks.
Since there are still only 24 hours in a day you not only have to be more productive, but also maintain high energy and stay happy. Otherwise you'll drag yourself down, end up a miserable, grumpy, scrooge, and take a lot of folks with you on the way.
The demands of work are keeping people so busy these days sometimes they forget the simple things that make them feel energized. Here are some tips to keep your energy soaring that don't require the use of drugs or an unlimited Starbucks card.
1. Start Your Day With a Workout
You would think a big workout would make you tired, but actually getting that blood pumping first thing will keep you going for the day. Don't forget a good breakfast as well, solid fuel to stoke the day's fire.
2. Take a 20-minute Power Nap
Of course you don't want your colleagues to see you sleeping on the job, but studies have shown that a brief power nap can help revitalize you for the whole day. One employer I know actually set up a motorized massage chair in a designated "nap room" for employees and requires they use it for breaks. Check out Inc. columnist Jessica Stillman's power nap primer.
3. Remove All Personal Grudges
All that emotional baggage takes its toll day in and day out. Whether it's anger you feel for a coworker or even someone who is distant from work, the emotions can be distracting and absorb energy. We like to think we can ignore the feelings, but often we just mask them and that takes energy in and of itself. Make a list of your grudges and commit time to reconcile each of them until they are gone. Soon you'll feel like someone added minutes to your clock every day.
4. Take a 15-minute Humor Break
Laughter is a natural energizer. Those endorphins from chuckles are as good for you as a solid workout. Sign up for the joke of the day, or cruise YouTube for some funny videos. Grab some colleagues and have a joke pow-wow. You'll lighten the atmosphere all around, and help everyone feel good about the rest of the day. This is a good one for 2:30 in the afternoon when the classic after lunch doze is coming on.
5. Take a 15-minute Walk
Sometimes we just need to get out. It doesn't matter if the weather is hot, cold or rainy, getting up from that chair and computer can rejuvenate your body and your mind. Leave the smartphone behind as well. Stretch, breathe and take in the outdoors to feel refreshed and awake.
6. Read Something Fun During Lunch
A little escape is good to clear the mind and reset your energy. Short stories are my favorite for lunch breaks. Not only are they entertaining, but finishing one at lunch gives you a sense of completion which helps boost your confidence to get back and fight through the day. Try a classic like Mark Twain or Rudyard Kipling, and you'll feel like you are doing something worthwhile with your time.
7. Resolve Any Conflicts With Your Boss or Colleagues
Concern over conflict can eat away at your attention and tire you quickly. Don't hold back. Confront issues head on. If you are open, empathetic, and diplomatic in your approach you may forge a closer bond that will make coming days easier to enjoy.
8. Do Something Nice For a Colleague
Energy is easily transmitted from person to person. This tip helps on so many levels. It's energizing to think about someone else, the actual act of giving creates a natural high, and of course gratitude provides plenty of energy as well. Try this hat-trick every day for a week and feel the surprising buzz.
9. Call a Good Friend and Chat for 15 Minutes
Nothing perks up my day more than time with a close friend. Whether it's quick catch up, or a chance to vent some of the day's frustrations, this short, fun reconnect will recharge your batteries and give you the support required to battle any tough day. The best part is that you will give your friend the same benefit.
10. Make Sure Your Work Activity is Fulfilling
If you hate what you do then none of my suggestions and no amount of caffeine will energize you enough to grind out depressing workdays continuously. Find a way to get paid doing what you enjoy. No need to make yourself and everyone around you miserable. Life is short and you are entitled to enjoy every day of it.