Everyone needs a little energy boost now and again. Sometimes, a number of times throughout a busy day. If you’ve had your head down on a demanding project for a while or have been blasted by requests from every direction, you know what I mean. It can be draining. So what do you do? Do you chug some caffeine? Do you take a wee break and kick it up a notch, or do you take a few minutes to chill out and refocus? Whatever you do, I say skip more caffeine.
Ways to Kick it Up a Notch…
Beyond 2-3 cups of java a day you enter the caffeine overload zone according to a recent study from the Mayo Clinic. For myself, beyond two coffees, my eyelids begin to twitch. How about you? So instead of grabbing that double skim mocha latte espresso extravaganza why not figure out how to kick it up a notch sans caffeine? Here’s some ideas:
- Ditch the desk – get up and go chat with that fun colleague down the hall or go for a brisk walk. Even better is to grab that fun colleague and head outside in the fresh air for that blast around the block. Do jumping jacks, jump rope, shake your groove thang…get physical! A short, vigorous burst of energy can be a great way to revive yourself and kickstart your brain again.
- Blast some upbeat music – definitely one of my favorite ways to crank up the energy is to throw on some earbuds and play some high energy House or EDM. I find tons of great stuff on SoundCloud. Whatever gets you going, take a short break with your favourite rousing tunes to kick it up a notch. Way more fun than a cup of coffee!
- Turn down the temp – warm temperatures inspire lethargy whereas cooler ones force your body to burn more calories and trigger your body to be more active and energetic. Studies have shown that this is a great way to avoid the lull and boost your productivity.
Ways to Turn it Down a Notch…
Rather than turning it up, what you may be craving at times is simply a break from the activity feverishly swirling around you. You instead need to refocus by stopping the swirl. If this be the case, then caffeine is certainly not the answer. Here’s some ideas:
- Turn down the volume – close your door, put your feet up and listen to relaxing music. Or head outside for that quiet park bench or a take a stroll around the block. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to simply escape the production line for a while. Even 5 minutes of quiet time in that rarely used stairwell can help you re-centre and focus.
- Nap – yes. Really. A 10 – 20 minute nap can be the most restorative thing you can do for yourself. Napping increases alertness, boosts creativity, reduces stress, improves perception, raises stamina, sharpens motor skills, increases accuracy, enhances your sex life, helps you make better decisions, reduces the risk of heart attack and improves both your memory and mood. Need any more convincing?
- Meditate – if you haven’t learned a mindfulness technique like meditation, you may be missing out on the most effective stress management technique out there. There are numerous ways to meditate or practice mindfulness. Here’s one way to reach destination calmness: Powerful Practice – How to Meditate in 5 Steps.
Whether you need to crank it up to refocus and re-energize, or crank it down, intentionally using tools like the above can help you expertly glide through otherwise hectic days.