Win the productivity fight, burn bright!

You know those co-workers who are always running circles around the office and getting things done? Everyone else is crashing at the desk in the afternoon past the lunch hour. The sharp ones seem to display peak performance at all times and never fade out, while the others have almost accepted that they’ll never compete. Have you wondered how you can maintain that level of productivity and not hit the keyboard after lunch? If you have done your homework as far as the aspects of your job, the solution is simpler than you might think. Once you become aware of what causes your afternoon slumps, you can avoid them. Below are some tips to help you burn bright instead of fading in the background.

Productivity Tips:

1. Eat light to heavy through your day
Everyone loves the eggs and bacon tradition, but eating heavy in the morning causes your body to devote extra energy to digestion rather than work related functions. Lemon water, fruits, a green glowing smoothie, or steel-cut oatmeal are some great morning choices. Similarly, start your meal lunch with a fruit, and follow with quinoa and veggies. Save any animal products (because they are harder to digest) for dinner.

2. Stick to high energy foods
There are a number of recommended high energy foods that can be utilized to help you keep sharp through the day. Some examples are apples, bananas, red peppers, cucumber, raw granola and pumpkin seeds.

3. Don’t rely on caffeine and sugar
Coffee and energy drinks are a common energy crutch for our society. Unfortunately they are neither very effective nor healthy. Individuals who switch away from these choices to healthier options like high energy foods experience lasting energy. On the other hand, coffee drinkers are likelier to experience severe energy crashes that lead them to the vending machine.

4. You may need to adjust your environment
If you’re eating the right foods but still groggy, consider the lighting and temperature of your office environment. If you don’t stop to notice, you may not even realize you are feeling cold, or the lighting is hurting your eyes. Have your own lamp available at your desk to use instead of office lights if needed. Make sure if you aren’t allowed to adjust office temperatures that you have a sweater and small fan available.

5. Play some music
You just can’t seem to stop yawning? Zoning out on a task? Try listening to some background music. Melodius sounds encourage the release of dopamine in the reward area of the brain, according to Amit Sood, a physician at the Mayo Clinic. Some studies even show listening to music boosts creativity.

6. Curb your enthusiasm
Are your eyes tired because you have been reading a lot, or on the computer? Or is your body tired of being in the same position behind the desk? Take a real lunch break. Get up and go away from your desk. There is a phenomenon called the Lunch Beat.org which are locations in most metropolitan and even not so metropolitan cities, where the workforce goes to dance, and be marry during their lunch breaks. A study by the University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, California), showed that “creativity is fostered by tasks that allow the mind to wander.” In this study, undergraduate students performed a series of tasks and showed that the best ideas often arrived when they were relaxing or otherwise mentally untaxed (Baird and Schooler, 2011). Even if you don’t go to the Lunch Beat, consider the lobby, the store down the street, or the bookstore for a breath of fresh air and to invite enthusiasm.

7. Give yourself “White Space”
Our culture bombards us with ways to be productive, but there is very little support out there for not doing. The truth is that in order to be productive, you have to surrender to your brain’s need for snooze time. For some this may mean being around others, while for others it may mean shutting the door, cell phones, etc. Figure out how your brain reaches ultimate “down-time” and aim for it during your lunch break. All of us have to play catch up now and then, but if you are constantly there, chances are you are doing yourself injustice.

8. Hydrate
The brain is one of the most important organs in your body to keep fueled. It is approximately 85 percent water and brain function depends on having abundant access to water. Water gives the brain the electrical energy for all brain functions, including thought and memory processes. According to Dr. Corinne Allen, founder of the Advanced Learning and Development Institute, brain cells need two times more energy than other cells in the body. When your brain is functioning on a full reserve of water, you will be able to think faster, be more focused, and experience greater clarity and creativity.

9. Make a priority list of tasks
Do you commonly find yourself frantically jumping between tasks, but managing not to truly accomplish anything? There is a good chance you’re starting to feel stressed with balancing projects which has led to loss of enthusiasm. The trick here is to buckle down and make a task list. Sort out priorities if you’ve begun to feel sluggish or unfocused.

Utilizing these tips is about motivation and self-control. You have the ability to make the change. Go ahead think right; it’s your time to burn bright.