Fighting the office chair slump.
We’re already well into 2016 and, by now, the urge to give it all up, tell your boss what you really think of him and leave to become a scuba-diving instructor in Phuket is so strong that it’s almost unbearable. Easy. Take a breath. Phuket has enough diving instructors and you’ve got a home loan and car repayment to sort out. So, instead of running away, you’re going to have to power through to December. You’re going to need energy. Lots of it. So here’s your handy guide to beating fatigue at the office:
Schedule your time
An ad hoc working style may feel like the most efficient way to get things done, but it forces your brain to constantly switch gears, tiring it out quicker. Procrastination can actually tire you out, forcing you to expend energy while avoiding your most important jobs. You want to make sure that you are focusing your energy on your most crucial tasks, so schedule those for the morning when you’re still feeling fresh, and keep your Facebooking for later in the day. Set aside time at the end of the day to plan what you’re going to do the next morning, so you’re ready to hit the ground running when you get to work the next day.
Avoid decision fatigue
According to research done by social psychologist Roy F Baumeister, the ‘process of choosing may itself drain some of the body’s precious resources, thereby leaving the executive function less capable of carrying out its other activities.’ Quite simply, making decisions tires you out, lessening your willpower and ability for self-control. The solution? Automate as many of the small decisions in life as possible. Have a simple selection of work clothes so that you don’t need to spend time in the morning deciding what to wear. Eat the same breakfast every day. The more you automate, the more willpower you have for the big decisions.
Along with a dry mouth, muscle stiffness and dizziness, dehydration can also impair cognitive function and ruin your ability to concentrate. Set a reminder on your phone or computer to ensure you keep drinking water throughout the day.
Take every opportunity to move
We know that sitting in a chair in front of a computer for eight hours a day is not healthy, but getting periods of activity into your generally sedentary work day can be tough. In order to boost your daily activity, remember to always eat lunch away from your desk and take regular fresh-air breaks away from the office air conditioning.
Nail your daily nutrition
Your blood sugar levels shouldn’t look anything like a roller coaster at an amusement park. Always eat a high-protein breakfast, staying away from sugary cereals and muesli, and pack healthy snacks for those energy slumps at 11 am and 3 pm.