Maintaining focus and keeping up your energy levels can be a challenge throughout the day, especially for those with sedentary jobs. Here are some tips to help you improve your capacity to concentrate and maintain good energy levels throughout the working day.
One of the issues associated with working at a desk is the danger of developing digital eye strain, which will give you headaches and therefore reduce both your energy levels and your ability to concentrate. A method that many eye doctors recommend for preventing digital eye strain is the 20-20-20 rule, which dictates that every 20 minutes you should look at something which is at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. To minimize other health risks, such as that of cardiovascular disease, use this time to get up, stretch and walk around, and make sure that you turn one of these mini-breaks into a longer break (of at least 5 minutes) every hour or two. Resting your mind and moving your body will help you come back to your desk refreshed, and will keep you going for longer.
When you have to get through a long day at your desk, it’s tempting to keep chugging down cups of coffee to keep you alert. The issue with coffee, however, is that it will make you more alert for a short period and then you will have a ‘caffeine crash’, where the effects of the coffee are actually reversed. Instead of coffee, try drinking cups of green tea or, even better, matcha—a particular type of green tea that has higher concentrations of L-theanine.
As matcha retailer aprikamatcha.com rightfully points out, matcha is a great substitute for coffee because it will keep you alert without leading to a coffee crash or making you jittery. In addition to matcha, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to help prevent headaches and fatigue.
One of the problems of office buildings is that they often have poor ventilation, which makes them stuffy and prevents enough fresh air from getting in. Safety laws around tall buildings and fancy temperature regulation systems can get in the way of windows being opened, and while you will always have enough oxygen in the building to survive, it won’t necessarily be enough to prevent you from getting headaches and becoming lethargic. When you feel yourself slump, therefore, make the effort to go outside for a walk, even if the weather is cold and wet. The effects on your energy levels, concentration, and mood will be enormous, and—if you’re lucky and the sun is shining—you will get some much-needed vitamin D, which you won’t get enough of my working inside all day.
Snacking doesn’t have to be bad for you—it all depends on what you eat. To give yourself an energy boost, avoid refined sugar—which, like coffee, will give you a short-term energy spike followed by a slump—and choose bananas, cashew nuts, or oats.