Everyone finds themselves procrastinating at work from time to time. Here at Coffee for the Roasting People Co. we have come up with a few life hacks to boost your energy throughout the day and make yourself more productive at work. You know we will be including coffee in our list 😂 as it definitely increases our productivity.
Record your productivity
Do you feel like you’re never actually ticking anything off your list? Make an actual, physical on paper list of everything you need to do.
This way when you think of something you need to do, add it to the list. But also when you have actually completed something you can cross it off the list. Man it’s rewarding to cross those things off.
Why record your productivity?
You might find you are doing more than you are giving yourself credit for. Doing something as simple as writing it down and checking it off, will make you feel much better – as you can see you really are getting stuff done.
If you are super busy and have a million things to remember – writing them down will help you remember what you have to do. It will allso make you feel more included to do those little tasks that you are always putting off, as then you can cross them off.
Caffeine has a wide range of effects on your mood and productivity. “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” – And with good reason. In today’s mile-a-minute working world, that extra boost in the morning seems almost crucial to starting the day.
We like to give coffee credit for allowing us to start our day. You might even think it is the only thing that gets you through work every day, but in moderation. Coffee is harmless, as long as you drink it in moderation and don’t abuse it. Don’t go thinking it’s some sort of magic potion that has no side effects if you are drinking 10 cups a day. So why do we drink coffee?
One of the reasons is to drink coffee to recharge
It has long since been known that coffee gives you a boost in energy and helps to alleviate drowsiness. This is because caffeine blocks off the receptors in the brain that measure when you need sleep.
Another is to increase brain function
Coffee has also been proven to provide you with a short-term increase in brain function. A single cup of coffee can already help you find and identify words faster, according to scientific research.
Moving away from your workspace
The act of going and making or buying a coffee, gives you a break from your screen for 5 minutes. This gives you time to reboot. If your on a computer it also means you can rest your eyes for a few minutes, and come back to your desk more productive than ever.
Experiment with different blends
Luckily, there are coffee blends out there that have a lower caffeine ratio than average – if you find yourself drinking too many cups a day. It mostly depends on the region you source your coffee from, but generally, a darker roast tends to give you a stronger kick than light roasts.
Preparing your coffee is another way to manage caffeine intake. Water your espresso down a bit and enjoy an americano instead. You’ll get a similar amount of caffeine in, over a longer period of time. This way you can also let your body acclimate to drinking less. If you think you are drinking too much coffee at work, try out our decaf blend.
Remember to store your beans properly at work, for maximum flavour!
Take a shower, a cold shower
You read that right: a cold shower (a good one for those who are working from home).
Did you know that our nervous system responds to a sudden splash of cold water? Is acts as a warning. Your body thinks it might be in danger, so it shocks your nerves and tries to maximise the amount of oxygen in your blood. The cold stimulates you to take deeper breaths, which decreases the level of CO2 in your body. It’s amazing how focused you are when you think your life is in danger.
But unless you are working from home, a cold shower isn’t always possible. So why not try;
+ A cold face washer
+ A glass of ice cold water
+ Running your palms, back of neck and ankles under cold running water (your pressure points)
Take a walk
Overindulging in coffee can nullify the energising effects of caffeine. But what are you supposed to do when you feel the coffee slump coming on? If you didn’t bother to read the heading of this section, the answer is physical exercise.
Scientific study shows that short breaks help you keep your focus in between long working sessions, especially if you spend your whole day in an office or in one place. A good benchmark is that for every hour of work, fifteen minutes of downtime helps you to collect your thoughts. But downtime doesn’t refer to watching videos on your phone. Your body needs physical stimulation whenever you sit down for that long.
There are a few different office exercises that help you relax and work out some of the caffeine in your bloodstream. Exercise comes with the added benefit of improving the healthiness of your body at the same time.
Find the perfect light for your life
There are a few different factors of your work environment that affect your mood. In fact, your environment plays a huge role in your body’s energy cycles.
Getting some regular exposure to natural light can help to improve your energy levels & enhance your overall mood. This is partly because you’re not completely walled off in an office or work setting and instead surrounded by some aesthetically pleasing nature. And also in part because different types of light can change the way you experience your environment.
You don’t have to be a movie or an art buff to realise that there is a difference between the warm orange glow of a fire and the soft pink or red of a child’s night light. The difference isn’t just that the former makes you feel like you’re sitting at a campfire, While the latter makes you feel like you’re in a horror movie. But before you start explaining to your boss why you need colour changing mood lighting by your desk, let me clarify something first:
Brighter LED or fluorescent lights have a tendency to keep you more aware of your surroundings. It is closer to sunlight than the “warmer” glow of a tungsten light bulb. As such, light bulbs commonly labelled “winter lights” make you more attentive than the soothing warmth of “summer lights”.
Switching out your light bulbs is useful if you’re working in a windowless space. Otherwise, make some time to step out for sunlight every hour. Go outside during your lunch break and bathe in the light of the sun.
Sleep = productivity
Yes, you need to sleep, you animal. No, there is no way to replace it, nor is there a way to circumvent it. I don’t care how much you think you can get away with three hours of sleep, you are shooting yourself in the foot! If I still don’t have your attention, allow me to elaborate:
When you sleep, your brain goes through two different cycles. These are REM sleep and non-REM sleep. There are a lot of shorter stages in each of these cycles, but we don’t need that much detail right now.
REM sleep starts about an hour or an hour and a half after you fall asleep. REM sleep is when you tend to have vivid dreams.
Non-REM sleep is when you sleep the deepest, especially at the end of your natural sleep cycle. It’s hard to wake up from this stage of sleep. This is also the point where your body fixes whatever damage you managed to do when you were awake and also the period when your bones grow.
As you sleep, your body cycles through non-REM and REM sleep. You usually start the sleep cycle with non-REM sleep, followed by a short period of REM sleep. The cycle repeats until your body has had enough sleep.
Did all of that scientific jargon put you to sleep yet? Well then there isn’t much else reading can do for you now. Let’s get down to the point. Getting less sleep than you need each night, makes you accumulate sleep debt.
What is sleep debt?
Your body needs a certain amount of sleep every 24 hours. When you cut that short, the leftovers don’t disappear, they move on to the next day. It’s like stress or a rapidly approaching due date.
You will begin to feel physically and mentally exhausted when you’ve built up enough sleep debt. Just because sleep debt stacks over separate days, it doesn’t mean you can get rid of it all at once. You can’t make up your missing hours by sleeping a lot on the weekends. It’s best to get enough sleep all week long.
Studies have shown that the human body can’t get used to less sleep. You might feel it does but your brain and body sure doesn’t. There is still a noticeable decrease in your fine motor functions and attentiveness. People who regularly sleep less at night tend to build up “sleep debt” over time.
What happens when you are sleep-deprived?
There are a few obvious signs that you are in dire need of sleep. You feel drowsy regardless of how active you are. Your reaction times take a serious beating as well. In some cases your reaction time can double in length which can have disastrous effects when you rely on sensitive motor functions like balance and performing delicate tasks.
You might have found yourself falling asleep within a few minutes of lying down. This is another example of hyper exhaustion. There are certain theories that you can rely on micro naps throughout the day, instead of having a full night’s rest. This is also a sign of exhaustion however. Sleep deprivation has the effect of making you unwillingly lose consciousness throughout the day for short periods of time. You likely won’t find a boss that is willing to let you get away with sleeping on the job!