It’s the old saying, ‘find a job you love and you’ll never have to work again’. The point of this is clear; enjoy the work you do and it won’t feel like you’re at work. Which is lovely and all, but for the overwhelming majority they would still wish just the last five words to be the true ones. Luckily for me I am able to move around all day as a personal trainer, but for most people they do not have this luxury.
Whether you love your job, are addicted to your job, hate your job or are looking for a job, one thing is key to making the very most from your day. Feeling, and actually being, energized. This may come easier if you are loving your work obviously, but there are things you can be doing to physically and mentally optimize your productivity and performance.
Want to know what they are? Well they’re right here actually…
- Drink water. Lots of it. The biggest reason for feeling fatigue, other than a lack of quality sleep of course, is dehydration. Water is the single most fundamental substance to support life (just ask NASA), so you should be drinking plenty of it. And you don’t necessarily need to feel thirsty to be dehydrated! A minimum of 2 liters of water a day is a great place to start to feel mentally and physically full of energy.
- Move. The majority of the working population spend on average 22 hours a day sat down. OK, I admit I’ve made up that stat but you get the point. If you’re day means you spend most of your time sat down – get up! Every 30 minutes or so, go for a short walk or do a few stretches, and just get outside for a few moments regardless of the weather. It all helps keep the blood moving which supplies your brain with all that lovely oxygen.
- Eat right. You’ll have been told this a thousand times, and you know you know it. But eating right can make the world of difference to your energy levels. It starts with nutritious big breakfast then throughout the day lots of fresh vegetables, lots of protein, and lots of the right sorts of snacks will stop your blood sugar levels plummeting and you’ll see your energy levels go in the right direction. Good snacks are nuts, seeds, meats (not fried), pieces of fruit and veg, boiled eggs. Also, trying to avoid big carb based lunches is key; carbs are just complex sugars so once the body has digested them and sent the sugars in to your blood there’s only one thing that will follow…a crash in blood sugar levels and you’ll be sneaking off to the store room to see if you can squeeze in a 5 minute nap.
- Less caffeine. The most commonly used of all stimulants, surely throwing more coffee down your neck is going to keep you bouncing off the walls? Well no actually. Similar to the lull after a sugar rush, your body will ultimately feel more tired once the caffeine starts to leave your system which means you’ve either got to keep drinking gallons of the stuff and hope your heart doesn’t burst out of your chest, or just limit it to one or two cups a day. Often getting a coffee is just a nice break in the day and a chance to get away from your desk, which is a good thing. But next time get a peppermint tea, a decaff or even just a water (see point #1!)
- Listen to music. This obviously depends on what your job is. I for one wouldn’t want to visit a therapist who was sat there with headphones in, tapping his foot and mumbling lyrics to himself. But there is a lot of evidence that music can really increase your focus and energy levels. The more instrumental the better, have a search for YouTube/Spotify playlists with titles like ‘Elevator music’ or ‘coffee shop tunes’.
- Sleep. So important for so many things like weight loss, stress and, of course, focus and energy during the day. And it’s not just the amount of sleep you get, it’s the quality of it that is also important. Help yourself get better sleep by putting down your phone and turning off your TV well before it’s bedtime. Give your brain the chance to switch off and change pace, you’ll find it’s easier to stay asleep then. Read, stretch, have a bath, do some breathing exercises, make sure your last coffee of the day isn’t in the afternoon. You’ll feel so much better the following day and if you’re less tired you are less anxious and being anxious is exhausting and ruins your focus and energy levels. See, it all makes perfect sense!
- Morning exercise. Making your body move before breakfast has so many benefits, no more so than improving your energy levels for the rest of the day. And don’t think that means setting your alarm 2 hours earlier than you’d like to get to the gym and interrupt all that wonderful sleep we’ve been talking about. There are roughly one billion videos on YouTube that offer 2 – 15 minute work outs for all abilities that you can do in your pyjamas before you leave the house.
Talking. If your energy levels are really rock bottom and have been for a while, it may be a sign of not being in good mental health. The physical impact of stress, anxiety and depression should never be underestimated. Get talking to someone, anyone, about how you’re feeling. Whether that be specifically about work or more generally. With someone you know or someone you don’t. With a specific goal in mind or just a catch up. Talking to someone may give you a new perspective and a renewed spring in your step again, or if it’s not as straight forward as that go and see a doctor. There is literally no shame in doing that, it’s what they’re there for, and it could be the first step to being happy again.
Tyler Read has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Tyler is also a certified personal trainer with NASM, ACE and CSCS. Tyler’s main goal is to help people get started in the personal training industry and to become successful personal trainers. Tyler is the owner of Personal Training Pioneer which helps people get started in the personal training industry and become successful.