160/365 - out of gas

It’s easy to lose confidence or self esteem in your job if you find yourself missing important details or failing to be as productive as other people around you.

It’s worse if people notice and start perceiving you as de-motivated or lazy. Anyone who has ever felt extreme fatigue come over them at work will know it’s got nothing to do with motivation – it’s your body talking.

I know because I’ve been there and done that. I always used to find it funny how I could be engrossed in some feat of kitchen planning for someone else, but when it came to using my own, designed by KDCUK kitchens exactly how I wanted it, everything failed and I just never cooked in it!

If you’re one of those people who finds yourself constantly looking around, failing to understand how your colleagues can full-steam power ahead without burning out, there may be ways in which your daily eating patterns can be improved to keep your energy levels up.

I Need a Coffee!

Coffee with - POD -

At times I don’t know what I’d do without coffee, I’m sure there are many others like me out there. We all know caffeine is an energising drug and can help with concentration just when you thought you were going to hit the floor.

But if you want to enhance your ability to be productive overall, there are more effective ways than drinking a gallon of coffee a day. Scientifically, caffeine in coffee saves us from sleepiness by binding particular cell receptors in the brain – the caffeine soaks up the ‘dozy’ substance which turns off electrical activity.

Overdose on caffeine though and you’ll just get nervous and jittery, which isn’t particularly more conducive to concentration than sleepiness is!

It’s something to watch, because too much of this stuff can instruct your body to turn on ‘fight or flight’ – confusing thinking. It can also induce the effects of insomnia, meaning you’re tired but can’t sleep, not a great situation to be in the night before a big meeting!

Kick Start Your Day Properly

Breakfast Eggs_031

If you find yourself getting off to a sleepy start every morning, downing the cups of coffee so you can get going, I’d recommend you start eating breakfast if you’re not already do so.

It might require waking that little bit earlier, but it’s worth it for the health benefits and the extra brain power it will give you. Or, if you have the facilities at your workplace you could take some food in with you and prepare it there– whatever works best.

Evidence suggests breakfast makes a massive difference, improving short-term memory and attention span. But this isn’t to say any old breakfast will do – a Big Mac each morning won’t cut it, and gorging first thing on a big meal may counteract any benefits by making you feel heavy and sluggish.

Breakfast Suggestions:

A bowl of cereal (as few extra added salts and sugars as possible) and some fruit will help you get your day off to the right start and keep energy levels up for longer than a quick intake of coffee will.

Natural Sugars and Fish

The reason why mental exercise leaves us drained is because it uses up glucose. For these reasons, natural foods that maintain glucose levels work as great brain foods.

Fruit is also great as a snack through the day – it contains longer chains of sugar molecules than junk food like chocolate, that the body takes longer to break down and so it fuels the brain over a longer period of time.

Other brain foods include protein sources such as fish which is rich in Omega 3, a fatty acid that assists brain functioning and has been shown to decrease risks of dementia and memory loss.

Snack Packs

Nuts!

You’ll often find a massive lunch at work is going to make you drowsy as your body works overtime to digest.
Snacking through the day rather than sitting for one heavy meal is another method for keeping energy levels up; you just have to be sensible about what you’re snacking on!

Again, fruits are usually OK, but you shouldn’t overdo it on them either. Things like nuts and seeds are great sources of vitamin E and are also linked with minimizing risks of cognitive decline.

If you want to find great ways to snack healthily whilst keeping your productivity up at work, you might want to look into joining the grazebox scheme for loads of yummy and healthy goodness, I’ve tried them and they’re delicious, plus they’re even recognized by the NHS as supporting the 5 a day scheme!