Do you get enough sleep at night? Have you ever "woke up tired?"
Staying alert at work can be a challenge when your mind and body are ready to go back to bed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1 in 3 Americans does not get enough sleep on a regular basis. When you’re constantly tired and groggy, staying awake and maintaining optimal focus at your desk during work can seem downright impossible.
Countless working professionals fall victim to tiredness and exhaustion throughout the day. Even if you can fight off the impulse to sleep, you may feel sluggish or scatter-brained. Nursing a caffeine addiction won’t do you any favors – ditch the coffee jitters and learn how easy staying alert at work can be with our guide.
Practice Proper Posture
Yes, we’ll be the first ones to tell you that sitting at a desk can be bad for your health – among other issues, it can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But if you’re going to be sitting at your desk all day, at least know the correct way to do so!
This helpful infographic is a good starting point. Keep your feet flat on the ground, and ensure your knees are roughly in line with your hips (or slightly below). Keep your shoulders relax and check periodically that your arms are bent at a 90-degree angle. Also check that your eye line is level with the top one-third of your monitor. This posture will activate your body in a positive way, keeping you alert.
Chow on Brain Food
Bringing the right variety of fruits and snacks to your office can charge your brain throughout the day, allowing you to really focus. The following foods help activate your mind and keep your energy levels up, and are pretty healthy to boot:
- Fruits – the best options are berries, apples, and grapes. Most fruits will work, though, especially those high in antioxidants.
- Nuts – High in fiber, protein, and energy! Stick to walnuts for the healthier options. Peanuts and peanut butter and good brain food, just watch the calories.
- Green Salads – dark green salads have more chlorophyll and more nutrients to keep your brain active. Unlock the power of the sun! (Only a slight exaggeration).
- Dark Chocolate – Yes, you should eat dark chocolate sparingly, but its anti-oxidants will wake you up. And avoid milk chocolate or standard candy.
Staying alert at work becomes much simpler when you simply ditch the chair altogether. Standing desks keep your body fully active, and from that position it’s easier to stretch, loosen up, or take a quick walk around your desk for some movement and brain juice. Get the neurons flowing by staying engaged.
With a Wurf board you can keep every muscle group engaged throughout the day. Through micro-movements your body is constantly adjusting slightly, avoiding the sleepiness associated with sedentary work completely. Wurf boards also boost your focus by helping you concentrate more readily on the task at hand.
Take a Break
A change in your surroundings is crucial to mental alertness. No matter how comfortable your desk may be, relocate every few hours for a change of pace and mind. Host a walking meeting with your team in the hallway, or eat your lunch outside. Do what you have to do for a variety in environment. Stepping outside can wake you up more organically than any cup of coffee.
Follow these tips to stay alert and focused from 9 to 5, even if your sleep was subpar the night before. Comment below with your favorite ticks for staying alert at work!