We’ve all been there. You get to work first thing in the morning and you already feel like you’ve done a 12 hour day, and that post lunch slump is getting harder to beat. Falling asleep on the job is definitely not something you want to do, but sometimes it can feel like an uphill battle to just stay awake. Well, here are 4 simple steps to help you feel more energised at work!

Eat less, more frequently, and never skip breakfast…

What you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat, all play an important part in how energetic you feel, whether at work, or in general. Food is the body’s fuel, and following the wrong type of diet can be hazardous to your productivity, you wouldn’t expect your petrol car to run well on diesel would you?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I’m sure you’ve heard that? Well it’s not just something your mum used to say to get you to eat in the morning, it’s true. If your first meal consists of nothing but a cup of coffee (more on that later), then no wonder you feel drowsy at work! Opt instead for a meal with high protein content like scrambled eggs, a bowl of oats with some fruit, or maybe a protein shake, if you are in a hurry. This will give your body fuel to burn, and will help keep you energetic through the early part of the day.

Eating smaller portions, but more frequently is the best way to keep your energy levels high. The best thing to do would be to plan on eating every 3 hours. So, when you’re at work, don’t let your next food post breakfast be your lunch! Have a snack somewhere between the two, something like a handful of peanuts, or walnuts, or maybe a piece of fruit. This will keep your body happy, and help fight off that sleepy feeling. At lunch, don’t overdo your portion sizes, and try to stick to something healthier, as fast food can generally make you feel more lethargic.

Drink more water, it makes up almost 70% of your body you know…

Not drinking enough water is a mistake that many of us make, choosing instead to replace our fluid intake with other, usually more saccharine, beverages. Your body needs water to replace the amount it loses throughout the day, and failing to do so can lead to dehydration, and tiredness, as your body is unable to work at optimal levels of efficiency. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day will help keep you more alert at work, and generally make you feel better in your day to day life.

Exercise, yes I know you work at a desk job…

Being inactive for long periods of time can really add to that feeling of lethargy, and tiredness. You need to do something to get the blood flowing, and keep you energised. Yes, yes, I know your job entails you sit at a desk for 8+ hours a day, and there’s not really much room for exercise, but there’s still something you can do. Get up from your chair every so often, and go for a walk around the office, whether it be to the toilet, or to wash your face, or maybe to the kitchen to grab a glass of water (just do it!), this will get the blood pumping and help keep you alert. Another option would be to do some stretches at your desk, which can also help, and won’t provoke questions of why you are wondering aimlessly around the office.

Caffeine, yes I’m sure you know all about this one…

Coffee, energy drinks, or other highly caffeinated beverages are the workforce’s champions of choice when it comes to getting energised and staying awake during the workday. Don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest you give up on possibly one of the best parts of your day! Caffeine can be useful if not abused, and deployed strategically. Those used to drinking large amounts daily will notice that the effects start waning, and more has to be had, this is because the body begins to build a tolerance to it. As such, moderation is the best route to using caffeine to its full effectiveness. My suggestion would be to stick to one in the morning with breakfast, to give you that extra boost, one after lunch, to help deal with the post food slump caused by your body focusing on digestion, and one later in the day, to get you through the final hurdles. Combining caffeine in this way, with the other options mentioned above, will help keep you awake and energised throughout the work day, and prove much more effective than over reliance on the stimulant!

Of course, it goes without saying, that sleep is the most important thing when it comes to feeling energised, 7-8 hours a night is optimum, to give your body the time it needs. Other than that though, follow these 4 steps and you should be able to steer clear of worktime sleepiness. Hopefully you managed to stay awake long enough to read through them all!

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