You started the day full of energy. Work wasn’t a problem, and you were more productive than you’ve ever been. This should have lasted throughout the day, right? But even with a good lunch, it’s gotten to 3pm, and you’re starting to slump.
You may even be slumping before lunch. It’s 11am, and you need some pick-me-up. It’s common to reach for the cakes or sweets. You want something that gives you the quick burst of energy.
After all, office fatigue can be dangerous. You increase the risk of injury depending on the type of job you’re doing. Workers are also more likely to suffer illnesses due to drowsiness. The body gets the message that you need to rest, and your immune system just isn’t as effective.
Office fatigue is highly common in a shift or night workers. We’re working against our natural circadian rhythm. The lack of daylight tells our bodies that we need to rest, so we find ourselves sleepy even though we’ve only just woken.
While you can’t change your shifts or your natural circadian rhythm, you can take steps to get rid of the drowsiness. We’re going to share seven top tips to get rid of office fatigue.
But Why Are You So Tired?
There are a few reasons to feel so drowsy.This is highly common in shift workers and night workers, as we’ve already mentioned. Our bodies know that we sleep when it’s dark and are awake when its light. If we try to reverse that and become nocturnal the body reacts. It fights against us, knowing that that isn’t supposed to be the thing we do.
In some cases, other medical issues get in the way. We can have medication that makes us drowsy or insomnia that just makes it hard to get the right amount of rest. Jet lag and stress are also linked to worker drowsiness.
Even those who work the traditional nine-to-five can end up feeling drowsy and fatigued. The diet and other sleeping habits will get in the way.
So, it’s time to re-energise your body when you’re in the workplace. It’s time to fight office fatigue and make sure you’re productive throughout the day. It’s time to follow these seven tips to overcome your drowsiness.
Be More Assertive and Decisive
Your indecisions aren’t just annoying your colleagues or your partner. They’re getting to your mental state. By being indecisive, you’re using more brain power than you need. You’re putting your body under excess stress that isn’t needed.
Studies have shown that those who must make choices a lot feel more fatigued and stressed. It can be as simple as choosing what to eat or picking an outfit to wear for that important conference. There’s a constant back and forth as you make your pro/con lists.
It’s time to be more decisive and assertive. You need to choose your lunch quickly and go with your gut instinct more often.
Sure, there are times that you’ll need to think more deeply. You may have life decisions that could affect the people around you. Some decisions will be irreversible, and you need to think carefully about them. This is when the pro/con lists are good. Go with the side that has the most working for it.
In most of cases, your decisions are reversible. If something doesn’t work out, then you can choose to do it differently the next time. Didn’t like the chicken salad for lunch? You know not to have it next time, and you can opt for the pork. Didn’t like the color of the swimming costume? That’s not a problem. You can buy another later in a different color.
When you do have options, don’t give yourself more than four or five. More options will make it harder and your gut will be overpowered. Two options are often given to children to make it easier for them to choose. Try working with that as you become more decisive in life.
And when you do decide, make sure you’re assertive about it. Leave no room for others to question your decision, so you don’t question it either.
Get Rid of the Multitasking
Multitasking in the workplace is doing you no favors at all. We all tend to do it because technology makes it possible. We can have our emails running in the background, while we work on the report due by 5pm.
Did you know that your IQ drops by 10 points when you multitask? That’s what one study has found. Your productivity levels also drop considerably, and you’re using your brain far more than necessary.
When you switch between tasks, you end up forgetting what you were doing. You must read back through your work, remember where you were, and start again. There’s a loss of flow and momentum that you gained by working on the same project in one go.
This doesn’t mean don’t take breaks! Of course, you need to take a break regularly to improve your productivity and health. What we want you to do is to stop switching between tasks in one sitting. Work on something and only when you’re finished with it—or you’ve finished with the amount that you wanted to get through—should you move onto something else.
Also, find a time to get rid of all technology. You need a break from your emails dinging and social media lighting up. Take a break that is just for you. Try reading a book or taking a walk on your lunch to get away from the hustle and bustle of the workplace.
Avoiding distractions for an hour will help you feel a great deal better when you return to work. You’ll feel like you’ve had a break and your brain has a chance to recharge.
Sure, the work will still be there. It still needs doing. But your brain will be ready for it, and your stress levels will be at a minimum, keeping you productive throughout the day.
Get a Boost from Accomplishments
There’s a reason scratching off items on your to-do list works for productivity. You see the tasks being completed and you want to do more. There’s this need to scratch off every item to make you feel good about yourself. This boost of productivity will give you the boost of energy throughout the day.
So, it’s time to see what you’re getting done daily. Make a to-do list of all the tasks you need to complete while in the office.
Don’t focus on the list of tasks that haven’t been done yet. Focus on the crossing off each of the tasks. You can even write a list of all the tasks that you have done. You’ll get this wave of positivity, as you focus more on the accomplishments throughout the day.
If you have one long project that means no to-do list, break that project down into smaller chunks. Write the chunks onto your list and cross each one off as you do them.
Positive moods naturally give you more energy. You release the happy hormones to take over the stress hormones in the body. You get a new lease on life, as you want to continue the good work that you’ve done.
If you find that lists aren’t working, let a friend know about your accomplishments. You could even work with a colleague, telling each other about the stage you’re on to motivate each other.
Do a Few Office Workouts
Desk workouts are a thing. And they’re a good thing.
Don’t feel self-conscious in the office. By moving more at the desk, you’re fighting off the office fatigue. You’re also creating a healthier and stronger body.
One of the reasons we start to feel tired is the lack of movement. We spend hours looking at the screen, forcing our eyes to strain. Our backs ache, the legs are restless, and your neck needs a break.
By moving more, you’ll release happy hormones. You’ll feel better within yourself and get the blood pumping around the system. Stress hormones are minimized, and you stretch off the body to give it a break.
One of the best exercises you can do is anything that involves jumping. You want to boost the heart rate to produce more oxygen around your body and into your brain. Jump up and down on the spot—doing jump squats so you can build your leg muscles. You can also jog on the spot while waiting for the kettle to boil. Don’t forget to ask everyone if they’d like coffee so you can walk around the office with good reason.
On your lunch break, get outside and walk around. The fresh air will help to wake the brain up. Stuffy offices are draining, which we’ll move onto now.
Open a Window and Sit by It
If you sit in a hot room, you will naturally start to feel tired. Your body is comfortable and relaxed, meaning your brain starts to shut down. You get this euphoric feeling that leaves you wanting to nap.
Those who are in a hot and stuffy office need to make some changes. Talk to your boss about putting the air conditioning on, especially in the summer. This isn’t just good for productivity but good for the health of everyone. After all, heat exhaustion is a major problem.
If you are near a window, open it and let the air flow around the office. Got a friend who sits by that window? Ask them if you can switch desks, especially if she’d prefer to keep the window closed because of the cool air.
You will need to be considerate of the people around you. If you find that the rest of the office like the heat, you could consider talking to your boss about moving your workstation elsewhere.This is great if you don’t need a computer to do your work. Ask about moving into the meeting room during the hours you’re usually feeling drained and share how it boosts productivity and helps your boss.
If all else fails, use your lunch break and other breaks in the day to your advantage. Opt for a walk outside, even if it’s just for 15-20 minutes. It’s better than nothing and will get you in the right frame for the return to work.
Those who drive will find air-con and open windows beneficial. You can always switch between heat and cold, depending on the temperature outside.
Get Minty in the Office
Minty aromas are among the most refreshing and invigorating. Just the simple smell of mint will help to boost vigilance and energy levels. Your happy hormones are boosted, and you instantly get a release of energy.
And yes, these benefits have been proven through research. Scientists have found that those who exercise with minty aromas around them will be faster and last longer. Researchers also noticed that clerical tasks were completed accurately and productively.
You don’t need to burn incense or add some peppermint oil to your diffuser. These are quick options, but the rest of the office may not be that appreciative. However, you can chew gum! Not only do you get the minty aromas, but you also have the chewing sensation to keep your brain active. Your body starts to think you’re physically doing something, so the chemicals are released to get the digestive system working.
If you don’t want to chew gum, consider drinking peppermint or spearmint tea. You can also have fresh mint for your salads or just to chew on throughout the day. Pop a little into your water, enjoying a refreshing and invigorating drink throughout the day.
If you’re struggling, add some peppermint oil to your body lotion. Apply it to your hands throughout the day and take a whiff when you’re feeling the energy dips.
Use Colour to Boost Your Brain Power
Did you know colors affect our moods? Certain colors can make us feel more energetic and lively throughout the day. You want warm colors, including yellows and reds, in your office to help you get an instant boost.
According to researchers, warm colors (especially orange) will help to improve the adrenaline production in the body. You’re reminded of the sun, and that always means positive feelings. You get a boost of happy hormones to take over the stress hormones in the body.
It’s extremely easy to add the warm colors to your office. If you are allowed photos, or you have a favorite mug, make sure there’s something orange, yellow, or red on it. Use orange or yellow post-it notes on your work to put a small on your face whenever you use them. You can even add an orange cover over your keyboard.
Another option is to add it to your wardrobe. Have a bright bracelet that you see whenever you type or write. Or opt for a bright blouse that makes you smile. Don’t forget about oranges as a snack. Have one at 3pm when your energy levels dip and you need something to sustain you until the end of the day.
Revitalize Your Workplace to Get Rid of Office Fatigue
You don’t have to just put up with the slumps. Your productivity doesn’t need to dip throughout the day. With a few simple changes and tips, you can boost your energy levels and revitalize your day.
It’s time to change the way you work. Simple options like adding mint to your water or orange to your desk will work wonders. If your boss is willing to work with you, discuss a cooler office space or agree to a few desk workouts to wake you up and keep you going to the very end.