Are you one of those people who can’t wait for the working day to finish? Perhaps you find yourself drifting off into a helpless gaze in the direction of the slowly ticking clock, just praying for the hands to show 5.00pm. But don’t panic! Research over the past few years has suggested that if certain lifestyle habits are changed or tweaked, you can find yourself not only enjoying your work-life, but also achieving much higher than you ever thought was possible.
But how? We hear you cry…
Take a Good Nights Sleep
Well first things first. It is absolutely essential that you are giving your body enough rest each and every evening. Too little, and indeed too much, sleep has negative effects on the human body and the way it functions. If you manage to get something close to 8 hours of shut-eye each night, however, you will find that you wake up energised and ready for the day ahead… and whatever it may bring.
Embrace Early Wakeup
Next, get that idea out of your head that if you wake up at the last possible minute, you have gained something. Giving yourself at least 45 minutes each morning to get yourself suited and booted will ensure that you are not running about like a headless chicken, trying to gather your cluttered papers and bits and bobs you carelessly threw aside the night before. On the contrary, if you wake up nice and early, you not only have the time to organise yourself efficiently, but you can also get a scrumptious, wholesome breakfast down you rather than shovelling that burnt slice of bread into your mouth as you hurriedly race for the bus.
An easy, yet energy-rich breakfast that will be sure to keep you going right through till lunchtime, is porridge. As well as the great nutritional benefits, this is the perfect option for those chilly winter months, as it will keep you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. What could be better? Another great alternative is opting for a quick and colourful fruit salad. Literally throw in all your favourite fruits together and enjoy!
Take Lunchtime Seriously
But it’s not just breakfast that’s important, although it is probably the most crucial meal of the day. Lunchtime is really the time of day when you can start feeling the work-day dragging on, it is even more important to keep your energy levels high to increase motivation. So turn a blind eye to that KFC staring back at you on the street, and go for a healthy option. You will be thankful an hour later when you find yourself madly tapping away at your keyboard, rather than persuading yourself that you will ‘never eat fast-food again!’ In the long run, the healthy option is always better. A great idea for lunch is something like soup or a salad. Now I know what you’re thinking… salad is so boring! So why not spice it up a bit? If you are making it yourself, get a little creative. Choose your favourite protein, let’s say chicken, and cover in your yummiest marinade. Toss that in and you’re on to a winner.
Lastly, make sure you are regularly exercising to keep your body fit and healthy. Now, I am not suggesting you need to visit the gym every morning and night and strain yourself to the point of exhaustion. Just add in little things to your daily routine. For instance, if you live close enough to work to walk, do it! Walking to work will really wake you up on a morning and set you off for your long day ahead.
Say no to Stress
Make sure that you are not allowing yourself to become too emotionally attached to your work. If your work load becomes too stressful and you are feeling emotionally strained, try to sit back and calm yourself. Don’t get involved in confrontation, mediate difficult situations and if in front of a pc, take regular breaks. Remember that there are always times when your work will be more challenging, and times when your work will be much easier. Stress can be a big player in your overall performance at work, so try to decrease your anxieties as much as possible. A good way to handle stress at work is to manage your time more wisely. Try and pencil in specific time slots and assign yourself tasks to do each day. Each time you complete a task, a little more weight will be lifted off your shoulders.
So there you have it! A few helpful tips and tricks to make sure you are alive and kicking in the workplace and really making the most of your life as a whole.
Victoria Marlow is an independent human resources and mediation trainer and consultant helping individuals improve their daily lives in the workplace.