Most people can agree that there are times when getting through the workweek can be a true challenge. Whether it be a lack of sleep, stress at home, or a workload that just seems unmanageable, there’s an endless list of factors that can get in the way of productivity at work, setting us up for increased stress and anxiety as we face the looming threat of unfinished work.
Tired of, well…being tired at work? Here are five ways to boost cognitive function at the office, all of which can help bring you peace of mind at the end of the day.
1. Start Exercising—Outside of Work
While many people focus on the things they can do at work to boost productivity levels, the real efforts come outside of work. Exercise—particularly aerobic exercise—can play a key role in overall brain power, and there are plenty of different ways to get the cardio you need to experience these effects. Studies have shown that certain hormones released during exercise can actually serve to boost memory levels by a significant degree—something that could mean enhanced productivity at work.
2. Consider Your Workload
Some people are naturally more prone to experiencing issues with cognitive function as the day winds down—all of us deal with this to some degree or another. In certain cases, however, a lack of brain power may come down to an inherent disinterest in the workload at hand. It’s only normal to nod-off when faced with work that bores you to tears, so be sure to speak to a manager or supervisor if you feel that the work you’re doing is no longer challenging. You never know—it may be the perfect opportunity to consider taking on new, more rewarding responsibilities.
3. Take Five Minutes Every Hour
Working yourself to the bone may seem like the best way to get through your workload, but it will do inevitably result in burnout and typically isn’t sustainable. Those who sit and work in front of a computer for a living owe it to themselves to get up at least once every hour for five or ten minutes at a time to stretch, walk around, and take a break from eye-strain. It’s amazing what just a bit of added blood-flow can do for one’s mood and state of alertness—a crucial boon to the workday that not nearly enough managers are putting emphasis on.
4. Don’t Overlook the Importance of Self-care
If you’ve ever gone to work with a virus, you know just how hard it can be to perform basic daily responsibilities. How we feel throughout the day can have a clear and dramatic impact on our overall productivity levels—even when we’re healthy. This is where the importance of self-care comes in, as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and making time for relaxing hobbies are all crucial elements in helping us re-energize for another workday.
5. Collaborate with Others
One thing that easily cause “brain drain” at work is the threat of siloing. Many people thrive on the ability to perform good work on their own, but some experience lack of focus and even alienation from working by themselves all the time. Collaborating with others on projects or brainstorming sessions can help to reinvigorate the mind when there’s very little brain power left, not to mention the potential for creating new ideas and solutions you might not otherwise come up with on your own.
Keeping your mind sharp at work can certainly be challenging. By practicing good habits, however, you can enjoy the benefits of approaching the workday with a clear, sound mind.