I’m sure you’ve had days, or even weeks, at work where you feel like you’re constantly on a mission to accomplish an endless list of tasks in the shortest amount of time possible.
But no matter how busy you are and how many things you need to get done, everyone hits a slump every once in a while.
After running around all morning, trying to manage ongoing projects while simultaneously starting up new ones, you hit a wall and don’t have the energy to keep up with your schedule.
Adopting your own strategy for overcoming a lack of energy at work can help you to stay focused and accomplish more, without feeling drained at the end of the day.
Next time you’re in a slump, try out a few of these tips we've put together on how to boost your energy at work.
1. Get some fresh air
Sometimes the best way to tackle your work is to step away from it for a moment.
Powering through all your projects at once is actually not the most efficient way of working. In fact, taking short breaks throughout the day is scientifically proven to increase your ability to stay focused for prolonged periods of time.
When you’re taking a break, staying at your desk or checking Facebook isn’t the most beneficial use of your time. Unplugging and changing your surroundings will help you to get in a new mindset.
Going outside and getting some fresh air is a great way to break up your day and prevent stress or stagnation.
So, take a break from your to-do list and get outside. A quick walk outdoors will help to wake you up and give you the energy you need to take on the tasks you have left to complete.
2. Shift your focus
Most people have found that, for them, multi-tasking is not an efficient way to get things done. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean dedicating all your energy to one project from start to finish is better.
There are times when focusing on one thing for too long can actually lower your productivity level.
Focusing on finishing one task before moving to the next is often how you’ll find yourself in a slump. Allowing yourself to switch back and forth between tasks at work will help you to not getting stuck on a project that’s taking up all your time, attention, and energy.
A great way to practice task-switching is by taking a break from a complex project to do a couple small mundane tasks.
Simple administrative tasks seem to pile up because they’re easy to put off when you have a list of important projects to work on. Once you sit down and focus on them, they can be completed pretty quickly.
In short, don’t waste time trying to focus on a single task for too long if you’ve gotten stuck, toggle to another item on your to-do list and you’ll get more done.
3. Make time for exercise
A quick workout is one of the best ways to help get your energy levels back up. Even just 20 minutes at the gym or a brisk walk around your office building is enough to reenergize you.
If you’re someone who hits a wall in the middle of the day, you might want to consider an afternoon workout. Working out in the middle of your work day will improve your mood and increase your productivity, making up for any time you spent away from your desk.
Most likely, you won’t be able to get away from your desk to work out every single time you’re feeling low on energy, but always come prepared with a change of clothes, in case you find the time. Work is obviously the priority, so be upfront about your schedule and keep your calendar open.
If you don’t think you’ll be able to step away from the office mid-day to get in a work out, try making some time in the morning before you head to work. Getting your heart rate up and your blood flowing before you start your work day will help you stay focused and energized for longer.
4. Organize your workspace
If you’re feeling low on energy, having a cluttered desk will only make things worse. A crowded messy space will most likely create negative energy and keep you distracted when you’re trying to focus.
De-cluttering your workspace can help you feel more in control and increase your productivity.
Start by going through everything on your desk and in your drawers and get rid of anything unnecessary. Then, use labels, desk accessories, and storage boxes to organize everything that’s left.
One thing people often forget to do when tidying up their desk is to clean out and organize their computer, too. An organized home screen will help you feel less overwhelmed – plus you’ll be able to find the file you’re looking for without having to go through every folder on your desktop.
Take a few minutes each day to make sure your workspace is clean and organized and you’ll have a much easier time staying on task and powering through projects.
5. Take a breather
A great way to recharge is to get in a new headspace. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by your to-do list when you’re lacking energy. Taking a step away and clearing your mind by meditating can be an effective way to overcome lethargy.
You don’t need to use your whole lunch break to take a class at a nearby yoga studio to experience the benefits of meditation. There’s a few different methods you can practice at your desk or right outside your office building that will leave you feeling much calmer and energized than before.
If you can’t leave your desk to meditate, try plugging in your earbuds and listen to binaural beats. Listening to just one song is proven to help boost your memory and attention span.
On the contrary, if you feel you need to get away from your desk in order to clear your mind, you can try meditating in your car or outside of the office building. Headspace is a great app you can use to help guide you through the essentials of meditation.
Overcoming your lack of energy at work will reap serious benefits to your productivity levels, along with your own well-being.
The next time you’re stuck in a rut, try out a few of these strategies until you find one that works for you. When you turn your focus back to your work, you’ll feel more energized and productive. Plus, you’ll have a new way to handle the next time you’re feeling drained.
Sarah Niana is a Graphic Designer at Nextiva. Prior to Nextiva, she was attending school in Los Angeles & London and obtained a degree in Visual Communication from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. When she’s not at her desk, she loves checking out new restaurants, taking road trips, and hunting for vintage clothes.