In a past article I talked about meeting with the people who energize you and the people who exhaust you. My advice was to meet with as many of the former as you can and with as few of the latter as possible, but what do you do when you have to meet with too many of the energy-sucking vampires and end up too tired to take care of business?
Tired of feeling tired?
The first thing to do when you’re feeling drained is to take a break to address it. I think the worst thing you can do is to know you’re exhausted and to try and “power through”.
According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 100,000 traffic crashes happen as a result of “drowsy driving”. Over 70,000 injuries are a results of those crashes, and more than 1,500 deaths can be attributed to those sleep-impaired drivers.
While continuing to work at your desk might not be life-threatening, it certainly could be career-ending. Producing work while you are obviously struggling to keep your bleary eyes open is what leads to errors and costly mistakes.
Here are a few tips that I’ve found helpful when I begin to feel my energy levels running low…
Get up and getaway from your desk. Walk around the office — or better yet go outside and literally walk around your office (as in, walk a lap or two around your building).
We truly are solar-powered, and sun gives us life and recharges our drained batteries. That brisk walk outside will be double effective if the sun is shining down on your skin.
Whether you’re at your desk or walking outside in the sun, take some intentionally deep breaths. Breath in deeply and exhale in an effort to get as much of the old air out of your lungs as you breath in some fresh new air to refill them.
Have a Bite (but not a buffet)
Eat a packet of instant oatmeal, or enjoy an apple or an orange. A banana with a bit of peanut butter can do wonders, as will a handful of almonds. Don’t overdo it and fill yourself up or you’ll feel lethargic and be in worse shape than before.
An ice cold glass of water will rehydrate your body, and if you splash some on your face it will perk-up your sleepy eyes. Avoid commercial energy drinks that give you an initial energy boost but will then boomerang on you and send you crashing back down in just an hour or so. A nice strong cup of coffee (without cream or sugar is best) will give you a similar boost, and as author Dan Pink explains in this video you can increase the benefits of coffee if you drink it at the right time.
If you watched the Dan Pink video above, you know that right after you have a cup of coffee is the best time to take a short power nap of just 10 or 15 minutes. You will wake up refreshed — and if you had that cup of coffee as recommended, you will get an extra boost as you get back into the groove.
And Speaking of Grooves…
One of my favorite ways to get my energy levels back up to full strength after feeling tired is to jam along to some upbeat and invigorating tunes. Sing-a-long at the top of your lungs for best results (though your co-workers might disagree with me), or just rock and bop along in your office or cubicle like you’re in the mosh pit at a live concert. Need some ideas for great songs to get you going? This company asked their employees to name their favorite song to start the day and put together a playlist. Give it a listen.
Hopefully this list gave some ideas to try out the next time you’re feeling tired. Perhaps you even read it during a break while you were trying to re-energize yourself. If so, let me send you off with one of my favorite tunes to get back into action. Enjoy!