About the Author
A Sudden Change
For some office workers in Ireland, remote working has suddenly become the only way to work. Remote working has been on the rise in recent years, but this sudden change in environment will leave some companies and employees under immense pressure to adapt.
In previous posts, we have outlined how you can provide your teams with the tools to work from anywhere. (Check out this article on setting your team up for success.) However, being able to work effectively from home involves so much else. We take a holistic approach to remote working here at ActionPoint. It requires discipline, motivation and focus. That is why your nutrition, sleeping habits and wellbeing rituals are so important. In this article, we will provide some of our best tips on fueling your performance.
Your brain is almost 85% water. It should therefore be obvious that staying hydrated helps you to function more efficiently. If you are not a regular water drinker, try buying a water bottle that entices you to drink more. Leave it on your desk and sip throughout the day. If your concentration is crashing water can really help. Try adding some mint, ice cubes, cucumber, lemon, lime, natural cordials or natural flavour tablets to add a little zest to drink.
2. Limit Your Coffee to Only the Morning
Coffee can take hours to digest. That cup that you have at 3:30pm will still be in your body come bedtime. This affects your sleep, which in turn affects your performance the next day. Thus, it is best to keep your coffee intake to the earlier part of the day. After lunch try to replace at least one of your coffees with a herbal option. A ginger or lemon tea can provide you with the pick me up you need to get through the day.
3. Sustained Energy
You would not get very far in a car without petrol. The same can be said for your body and mind. You cannot expect to be at your best without fuel. Skipping breakfast (unless you are purposefully fasting) should not be a habit. Remember that activating your brain requires energy so you need to keep it fuelled throughout the day. Sugary snacks might give you the illusion of energy, but the energy provided spikes and crashes, leaving you worse off a short time later. Start your day with some protein. This could include eggs, protein smoothie or porridge with peanut butter, berries and seeds.
Meditation does not have to be a dirty word. Meditating at the start and the middle of your day can help you to maintain effectiveness. To start meditating, all you need to do is close your eyes and do nothing. To begin with, set a timer for 60 seconds and build up slowly over time. Breathe in and out through your nose if you can. The breath out should be twice the length of the breath in. Focus on your breath only. If a thought comes into your mind, acknowledge it and go back to focusing on your breathing. Use one of the many apps available to help. 10 minutes of meditation everyday can have a huge effect on your performance.
Eat foods that help you focus. Consider adding MCT oil to your coffee. Look for foods high in magnesium. Blueberries, green leafy vegetables, dark chocolate, flaxseeds are all said to be good for brain function. Consider having an all-in-one smoothie at your desk throughout the morning. Smoothies are an easy way to get lots of nourishing foods at once. The tastes of flax, chia, acai, wheatgrass, spinach and broccoli can easily be hidden by the natural sweetness of cacao and dates. Matcha green tea powder is also amazing. It is known for its mental focus properties giving you the coffee clarity without the jitters.
People’s eating habits are changing. We no longer eat three meals a day. It is more like 5 -8 small meals. Snacking has become a national pastime. However, the wrong choices can lead to many issues such as sluggishness, sugar crashes, guilt, and obesity. If you find yourself mindlessly picking at food, then you need to be prepared. Have a small jar of nuts or seeds at your desk to snack on throughout the day. Chop up some carrots, celery sticks or pitta and make some homemade hummus. High protein foods have the additional bonus of making you feel full.
7. The 3pm Slump
The afternoon slump is very real. It comes every day without exception so prepare for it. At work, there may be lots of sugary snacks that test your willpower. At home you have more control. Make sure you have some healthy snacks ready to go when the slump arrives. A little dark chocolate with a cup of green tea might just satisfy you.
The days of bragging about 4 hours sleep are gone. The simple fact is that you cannot be at your best without a good night’s sleep. If you are not convinced, we highly recommend the book ‘Why we Sleep’ by Matthew Walker. Working from home removes the daily commute. Take it as an opportunity to get more sleep!
We hope you enjoyed this post on fuelling your work performance. If you want to get some more practical advice on working from home. Check out ActionPoint’s Tips for Effective Remote Working. We hope you enjoy it.