Quick link to the video referenced in the article below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvEQBURrPow
Imagine you are at the starting line of an endurance event, a physical activity that is going to take you about eight hours to complete. You have probably trained for this and you have thought carefully about how you are going to fuel your body. Maybe you have prepared for this with a group of people and you have experienced a boost by drawing on the energy levels of others. If you are going to get to the finish line, you need to draw on all this and you need to be attuned to the needs of your body. A day in the office is no different. Many of us underestimate how physically, mentally and emotionally demanding a day’s work can be. It’s an endurance event a day for at least five days a week! Start focussing on how you feel throughout the day and be pre-emptive in keeping your energy levels up.
Start pacing yourself from the word “go” by staggering the emotional and physical demands you will face throughout the day. For example, interruptions can be exhausting. The typical worker gets interrupted every 11 minutes, according to researchers from Steelcase, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based furniture company. The company says it can take another 23 minutes to get back on task. For those that run, you may be able to relate to the way you feel if you start walking during a workout; it is hard work getting back into a running rhythm. Limit the number of interruptions you face during the day by closing your door, working in a quiet meeting room or scheduling times for your colleagues to see you. Other demands that can leave you drained include difficult conversations, boring work and crisis management. Give yourself time to recharge regularly throughout the day; stop at the water points.
Short, frequent breaks throughout the day will give you the stamina you need to maintain energy levels throughout the day and, if you do something pleasurable during those breaks, your oxytocin levels will increase. This hormone improves your mood and attention to detail, so do something pleasurable for a few minutes, like sharing a joke with a colleague or documenting the top 10 things you are grateful for.
If you’re feeling fatigue setting in or you feel that your brain is out of gear and fuzzy there are a few simple ‘bio-hacks’ that can make a big difference. A bio-hack is a way of managing your own biology through a combination of medical, nutritional and electronic techniques.
Firstly, get up, get outside in the sunshine and get moving!
As long as the sun is shining, this hack should flood your brain with enough sunlight to trigger a neurochemical reaction that initiates the release of other chemicals to stabilise wakefulness and keep you from dozing at your desk.. A new video (posted on The Office Coach website; www.theofficecoach.co.za) from the American Chemical Society called “How to Stay Awake (Without Caffeine)” discusses how a bit of afternoon exposure to sunlight promotes alertness.
If you decide to walk outside instead of just standing there, even better! Recent research published on a Harvard Health Publication’s blog says regular exercise, walking for instance, changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills. In short getting your heart and sweat glands pumping, boosts the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning.
Another simple bio-hack discussed on the video is making sure you drink water throughout the day. We’ve heard this before, time and time again. Research published in 2013 suggests that drinking three cups of water increases mental reaction times by up to 14%, compared to drinking no water. Even a small amount of dehydration can impair cognitive performance, not to mention give you a headache and put you in a bad mood.
So, you don’t need fancy tricks or artificial stimulants to maintain your energy levels. You just need to get outside to recharge!
That’s the WHAT and WHY. For workshops that help you unlock the HOW, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.