Work is exhausting. You know it. He knows it. That person way over there knows it. We all know it. But as you’ve probably noticed, some people can handle this exhaustion much better than others, yourself included. They might have more responsibilities, more authority, and more going on in their personal lives, but somehow, they still make it through the day feeling good and looking even better.
You can blame it on a potential alien infestation all you want, but you know as well as we do that this isn’t the case. And no, they aren’t better at being a human than you are. Simply put, they’ve managed to pick up some really good habits. Habits that keep them energized, motivated, and positive. And habits that make sure they’re healthy enough to fend off exhaustion even when it’s at its worst.
So to be a better, healthier, and more productive working member of society, here’s what we recommend.
Stop snacking on the wrong foods.
You’re hungry, you’re losing energy, and your productivity is starting to feel the drawbacks of an empty stomach. So you reach for that chocolate. That bag of chips. That pack of extra salty, extra cheesy crackers. Just the right amount of everything to make that tummy of yours feel not so empty. But unfortunately, that high will only last so long. You might not feel so hungry anymore, but every other part of your body will be feeling the pressure of extra salt and extra sugar.
So do yourself a favor and don’t reach for that chocolate, that bag of chips, or that pack of extra salty, extra cheesy crackers. Why? Well, not only is it terrible for your body, it’s terrible for your productivity. According to the Harvard Business Review, eating foods like pasta, cereal, and soda will certainly give you energy—but only for so long. Eventually, you’ll hit a wall, and your productivity will fall to a quick death. And foods like burgers and French fries? Those wonderful mealtime choices will make you groggy and reduce “oxygen levels in the brain.” Sounds exactly like what you want to happen in the middle of the workday, doesn’t it?
Not so much. The answer? Pick up a fruit. To a lot of people, fruits and vegetables aren’t exactly the tastiest snacks. And for other people, fruits and vegetables shouldn’t even be used in the same sentence with a word like tasty. But still, they’re good for your body, and they’re even better for your mind.
Time and time again, research has indicated that people who eat more fruits and vegetables throughout the day feel happier, healthier, and more satisfied with who they are and what they’re doing. So the question becomes: is an apple really all that bad?
And the answer to that is no. When your health and happiness are at stake, the taste of an apple (or any other fruit or vegetable for that matter) shouldn’t make a difference.
Get uninterrupted sleep.
Ridiculously successful people have weird sleeping habits. Some sleep an average of 15 hours a day while others refuse to sleep more than four a night. So instead of telling you to get 6-8 hours of sleep every day like most people will tell you, we’ll just say this: when you do sleep (whether it’s for 8 hours or 8 minutes), make sure you sleep well. Create the perfect sleeping environment—from your bed and lighting to the noise and pillows—so you can get the most bang for your buck. The better you sleep, the longer your productivity can last.
Have bad sleeping habits already? It’s easy to rewire your body and mind if you’re consistent. Take the TV out of the bedroom, set your morning alarm on your phone an hour before bed and do NOT look at your phone for that hour, have an evening routine and make the room dark and cool. You’ll find you’re sleeping a lot better with entirely minimal effort.
Listen to the right music.
Everyone has different tastes in tunes, so some of this advice won’t apply to every person. But for most of us, listening to upbeat, faster songs can boost our productivity levels and snap us out of our afternoon slump. Make a playlist on Spotify or Apple Music and mix in your favorites. Then, when you need to focus on a project and just aren’t feeling it, pop in your earbuds and let the music re-energize you. We recommend staying away from smooth jazz and classical music if you’re already feeling tired, because you’re just asking to fall asleep at your desk. No one wants that, right? Instead, pick some rock music to inspire you, some pop music to energize you, or some rap music to encourage you. Whatever works best for you!