You are what you eat. And what we feed our bodies impacts our day-to-day life, including our productivity. If you’re feel constantly tired or unmotivated at work then it might have something to do with your eating habits. By changing what you’re eating in the office, you could improve your productivity, job performance and overall health.
1. Don’t Skip Breakfast
In the rush to leave the house in the morning, a lot of working professionals end up missing the most important meal of the day. Skipping breakfast can hinder productivity and affect your ability to focus throughout the day. Having a nutritious meal in the morning kickstarts your metabolism, boosts your energy and helps improve your brain function and mood. Try and eat a meal within two hours of waking up and make sure to include a good source of protein and healthy carbs.
2. Plan Ahead
For most people, work is where they spend the majority of their time so it’s a place where they’re going to be doing a lot of their eating. Preparing and packing your own lunch and snacks for work prevents you being tempted by unhealthy treats in the vending machine or grabbing takeaway on your lunch break. By dedicating some time into planning your grocery shop and meals, you can ensure you have a nutritious lunch and healthy snacks to bring to work with you. When preparing meals at home, cook double the amount so that you’re able to freeze or store leftovers for later. By giving your body the right fuel during the day, you’ll be able to accomplish more and make the most of your time.
3. Take Your Lunch Break
During a busy day, it can be tempting to work through your break and just quickly scoff down lunch at your desk. Disconnecting from work for a little bit in the middle of the day gives you an energy boost and helps you to return to work rejuvenated and motivated. Focusing on your meal and eating mindfully usually means we digest our food more effectively. If you can, try going outside during your lunch break and getting some fresh air and sunlight.
4. Healthy Snacks
Eating junk foods doesn’t just make you feel sluggish, it can have an impact on our brain function and learning capabilities. We all know those afternoon cravings for something less-than-nutritious like a king-sized chocolate bar or extra salty packet of crisps. The trick to avoiding gorging yourself on a pile of junk food in the middle of the afternoon is to eat healthier snacks. Rather than sugary lollies, try dried fruit. Instead of chips, try air-popped popcorn or a handful of nuts. These snacks will keep you fuller for longer and give your brain some much needed fuel so you can be more productive throughout that afternoon slump. Keep snacks handy, in your desk or the office fridge, so they’re easily accessible when those hunger pangs hit.
5. Don’t Overdo It On The Coffee
For most people, coffee is the one thing they need in the morning so they can function normally. While caffeine can be helpful in small amounts, too much can actually kill our productivity. Knocking back coffee after coffee at work when we’re feeling tired can end up reducing our performance and causing fatigue. Too much coffee can also make you more irritable, anxious, add to digestive discomfort and interfere with your ability to focus. Drinking coffee regularly throughout the day or in the afternoon can disrupt our sleep routine and cause insomnia. Keep your caffeine intake under control by trying to stick to one coffee a day, preferably in the morning.
6. Eat Regularly
Eating small, frequent meals helps to keep your blood sugar steady and your energy levels high throughout the day. This means you can stay productive the whole time you’re at work. If you leave long breaks between meals your blood sugar drops which means your energy and productivity will likely fluctuate and you’re more likely to overeat. Don’t ignore hunger! If you’re body wants food, give it food (just make sure it’s the right kind of stuff).
7. Stay Hydrated
Making sure you’re drinking enough water can have a big effect on our productivity. Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue and a lack of concentration. Not drinking enough water can also cause our body to think its hungry rather than thirsty, which could lead to the consumption of food our body doesn’t need. Keep a water bottle on your desk and try to drink around half a gallon of water a day.
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If you find that you cannot keep up with the most productive version of yourself all the time, you probably have bad habits that are killing your effectiveness. Although considered natural, these habits decrease your mental performance and disrupt your productivity.
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