Hacks To Be More Alert & Focused At Work

by Isadora Baum, CHC

Sometimes the day can be draining, and we find ourselves low in energy and in need of a major pick-me-up in order to get back on track and tackle tasks at hand. Thus, knowing hacks to be more alert and focused during the day, especially when at work, is important for upping productivity and energy levels.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on boosting energy levels and focus at the office so that they can get their work done efficiently and find greater accomplishments on their projects. Feeling accomplished can promote higher wellbeing and esteem, as it feels awesome to consider yourself successful and valuable in your position at the company. Keeping your mind and body sharp is great for building concentration and maintaining it throughout the day in order to utilize that mental focus and productivity into completing tasks, finding tremendous results and staying organized and in control of your schedule, work flow and tasks to tackle. Here are 11 ways to stay more alert and focused at work, so that your efforts take you father and provide greater benefits and success. It'll definitely be worth it when you can impress your boss and co-workers with some outstanding work and motivation to get everything done.

1. Move Throughout The Day

Take 5 minutes out of every hour or 10-15 minutes every two hours and move around," says Susie Lemmer, running coach and personal trainer, over email with Bustle. "By taking time for yourself and getting your blood flowing, you won't burn out and over do your concentration all in one go. Think of it like a little walking break during a long run," she adds.

2. Eat Protein

Eating protein is a great way to boost mental focus and concentration and to build upon energy to tackle any task at hand, advises Eugene Kang, CEO and Co-Founder of Country Archer Jerky Co over email with Bustle. "Protein is an essential nutrient for maintaining energy but better yet, it boosts satiety – the feeling of fullness without the extra calories from carbs," he says. He recommends "grass fed beef and pasture raised meat-based foods that pack in more lean protein per serving" than some other foods.

3. Eat Whole Grains

Whole grains can be incredibly beneficial for sharpening mental awareness and providing satiety and high energy during the day. Ryan Tu, CEO of Three Bridges tells Bustle over email that "whole grains and certified gluten-free carbs, including gluten-free pasta, are good ways to stay satisfied and energized, especially if you do a lot of cardio. Include fresh, in season veggies and chicken breast for a meal that provides relatively quick, yet long-lasting energy that also keeps you feeling fuller longer."

4. Eat Lots Of Fiber

Fiber is critical for feeling full and beating cravings during the day, and this sense of satiety can fuel our brains to be focused and can help prevent us from being distracted when working on a project. As explained by Alicia Ward, VP of Marketing at Beanitos, over email with me,"fiber-rich foods take longer to digest and can help you extend your energy boost from the complex carbs in beans – giving you sustained energy. Beans have a low glycemic index to prevent insulin from spiking, which can also keep your energy levels more constant."

5. Get More Sleep

Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule can help boost mental alertness and energy each day, says Martin Rawls-Meehan CEO and Chief Innovation Officer at Reverie over email with Bustle. "Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can affect creativity and the ability to focus. This isn’t surprising considering that it has been demonstrated in other studies that losing just one night of sleep has the same effect on your body as being legally drunk," he says.

6. Snack Wisely

Choosing snacks mid-day can be tough, as it's tempting to reach for an office candy bowl or a donut from the local coffee shop on your block. However, these artificial, sugary foods will not boost focus and energy, but rather drain you of stores, and so it's better to consume healthy alternatives, such as blueberries. Dr. Axe touts the benefits of blueberries for mental health, focus, energy and memory boosting properties, so it's a good snack to reach for mid-day that's both versatile and delicious.

7. Get Some "B" In

Consuming B Vitamins, such as B6 and B12, in food form and supplement form, can help boost energy levels and focus. Over email with Bustle, the experts behind Alaska Seafood say, "B6 is essential for the production of white blood cells that support proper immune function, the synthesis of neurotransmitters and amino acids, and the conversion of muscle glycogen for energy. B12, found only in animal products, is important in red blood cell production. It also supports aerobic energy metabolism by maintaining hemoglobin to help with oxygen transport."

8. Have Coffee

"I like to keep an easy to grab and go cold-brew, like Chameleon Cold-Brew's ready-to-drinks," says Lauren Padula, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, running coach, and RYT-200 yoga teacher, over email with me. "Caffeine is a stimulate that can help boost the function of some body systems and boost mental performance," she adds. Have a cup for instant energy, but be wary of how your body reacts to caffeine and the time of the day (too late, and it could interfere with sleep).

9. Take A Quick Nap

Barry Krakow, MD, author of Sound Sleep, Sound Mind: Seven Keys to Sleeping Through the Night says in interview with WebMD that taking a quick power nap, ranging from 5 to 25 minutes a day, could help you regain energy and mental focus for the remainder of the day without interfering in your sleep cycle come later that night. Set an alarm so you don't overdo it!

10. Spark Conversation

According to Krakow, stimulating conversations can help beat fatigue and get the brain moving again. Take a walk (which is also great due to the movement and circulation boost, as noted in #1), and visit a co-worker to engage in a short conversation. This brief chat can help rejuvenate the mind and boost energy levels.

11. Take Deep Breaths

As instructed in Dr. Herbert Benson’s book, “The Relaxation Response”, taking deep, constructed breaths during the workday can help relieve stress and power the brain to be more charged and focused on whatever task is at hand. When you feel your energy slipping, take a few deep breaths to gain it back, and notice how your mood shifts upon completing this exercise.

Being mentally focused and energized at work can definitely be a great asset, as it can amp up productivity, creativity and the power for us to use our imaginations and drive to get things done. Working on implementing these activities into the day is great for boosting work and wellbeing benefits long-term.

Images: Pixabay (12)