According to Tony Schwartz in The Power of Full Engagement, committing time without also investing energy doesn't yield much return for anyone. Have you ever had the experience of talking with someone who was there but not really there? Regardless of our ambitions, we all have those days where our mind and body are just demanding you curl up and doze off rather than tackle that latest report or finish replying to another e-mail.
Luckily, you too can overcome a rough morning and get back into the zone if you follow these five tips to recharge:
Practice the Mindfully Positive
When you find your mind wandering, try focusing on the present moment. Not only will this help keep you positive, it will improve your focus and quality of your work. The practice of mindfulness teaches us to become aware of our thoughts and the present moment. It is a practice we need to nurture, because our natural tendency is to stray from the here and now to our thoughts and worries for next week or the next month (15Five being a great way to reflect on the past week, gain clarity around priority and provide ideas or suggestions on improvements). When we practice mindfulness, we keep bringing our wandering mind back to the current moment, only focusing on the task at hand.
Research has shown that every single business and educational outcome improves when your brain is in a positive state rather than negative, neutral or stressed. As that Forbes article indicates, sales have improved 37 percent cross-industry, productivity by 31 percent, you're 40 percent more likely to receive a promotion, nearly 10 times more engaged at work AND you live longer. A little effort can go a long way to manifest this into your everyday reality.
Follow the 50/10 Rule (aka The Hour of Power)
Are you finding yourself having to juggle a lot of tasks and losing track of individual progress? Try to follow the 50/10 rule. The premise is simple: for every 50 minutes of work, give yourself a 10 minute break. Fifty minutes is a manageable amount of time for uninterrupted work, and a ten-minute break is long enough to recharge your productivity muscle.
The key to this technique working is being completely focused on the task at hand for 50 straight minutes. If you find your attention wandering to that funny cat video on YouTube before 50 minutes are up, try easing into the hour of power by working for 45 minutes and taking a 15 minute break. Keep a notepad and pencil at hand to jot down other tasks that may come to mind during the 50 minutes, so that you can refer to them during your break and not interrupt your flow during work time.
Elevate Your Heart Rate
Regular exercise, as we all know, has its benefits, but doing so during your 10 minute break will speak wonders for your long term daily energy without harming your work performance. If you feel like exercising during work time will hamper your performance, you can put your mind at ease. Researchers at Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet found that it is possible to use work time for exercise or other health-promoting measures and still attain higher productivity levels.
These facts coupled with a new study that found rare exercise is linked with a 50 percent increased risk of low productivity leaves us no excuses but to hit the gym or head out for a run.
Consider Color Psychology
Color plays a huge role in energy levels. Why are certain logos a particular color? What is the best color to paint your office or work area? All these are questions you must take into consideration, as the choices you make when it comes to your office colours can have a significant impact on energy and productivity. Google, for instance, uses different colors to help navigate through the office: orange is used for the workstations, and blue for sit-in corners.
Limit Caffeine Intake
That morning coffee might give you a quick energy fix, but is it really doing you any good in the long run? The caffeine in coffee increases catecholamines, your stress hormones. If you simply must get your caffeine fix, green tea is a great alternative, giving you a powerful punch of antioxidants along with the caffeine.
Got any energy-boosting tips of your own to add? Feel free to leave a comment below or send us a tweet @15Five!