It’s Sunday night. You’ve had a relaxing weekend, but glancing at your calendar for the week, you begin to feel a sense of impending dread. You don’t know how you’re going to make time to breathe, let alone get your work done.
Feel like you need some help tackling your week? We’ve outlined 4 small changes that will help you get all the way to Friday, so you can save your energy and enjoy your weekend, instead of recharging on the couch.
There’s no way around it. No amount of caffeine or adrenaline will trick your body into telling itself you’ve gotten enough sleep. Research out of University of Wisconsin-Madison has found that your brain will start shutting down neurons if you haven’t had enough sleep. In addition to affecting your work performance, poor sleep habits can also pack on the pounds. Studies have shown that those who sleep less than 6 hours are known to consume more calories throughout the day to make up for lost energy. Bottom line? You can’t overstate the importance of sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep. Every night.
Plan Your Meals Ahead
When schedules get crazy, it becomes even easier to let the break room donut take the place of a nutritious lunch. While your taste buds will love a quick sugar fix, you’ll be left with less energy than you had before. Save your energy and avoid this crash by planning your meals and snacks ahead. Devote some time on Sunday afternoon to cooking up nutritious food that will last all week – a roasted chicken, brown rice, and sweet potatoes are a good start. Pair that with fresh salad greens in the morning and you’ve got a great lunch. For energy-rich snacks, buy small sandwich bags and fill them with your favorite nuts and dried fruit.
Lastly, ease up on the caffeine. It’s fine to have your morning cup of joe, but stick to water for the rest of the day.
The last thing you want to think about during a busy week is going to the gym – especially after a long day. It may seem like a strange way to save your energy, but trust us, moving your body and working up a sweat will help to rejuvenate you and clear your head. Don’t have time for trip to the gym or a long run? Even the smallest exercises can add up.
- Have 15 minutes? Walk around the block a few times.
- Have 10 minutes? Do a few ab sets and stretches before you go to bed.
- Have 5 minutes? Take the stairs instead of elevators or escalators.
Keep with these quick exercises, and your body will thank you.
When we’re busy at work, our to-do lists get pretty long. It’s easy to get discouraged looking at the packed list at the end of the day and thinking that you failed to accomplish much. Do yourself a favor to stay organized. Divide up your lists into “urgent,” “tomorrow,” and “non-urgent.” Focus on your urgent items first and let yourself feel accomplished at the end of the day, even if you don’t tackle your non-urgent items.
Have a few of your own tried and true tricks? Tell us how you save your energy at work in the comments!