In fact working excessive hours is common among small-business owners during the summer and indeed throughout the year. Many of us are continually striving to grow our enterprises and we simply work hard and put in the extra hours needed so that we can ensure that we give the best possible customer service. The thing is – where do we find the energy to keep doing this without burning out?With this in mind I’ve put together Wholesale Clearance’s top 21 tips for boosting your energy levels and fighting fatigue. Hopefully, if you are burning the candle at both ends, you’ll find some of these useful! 1. Regardless of how long your day is, make sure you take some short breaks. A 15 minute break every 90 minutes is ideal, but if you can’t manage that at least grab a few minutes every hour. Use that time to step outside and get some air, stretch and take some deep breaths – then go back to it.
2. Get enough sleep. Even if you’re working really long hours you should try not to skimp on your sleep. If you need 8 hours try and get it. Sleep deprivation builds up over a period of time and you can become a danger to yourself and others.
3. Power nap. If you can manage a power nap go for it! A nap of between 15 minutes and 30 minutes will help to recharge your batteries.4. Stand up. If you sit all day try working standing up for a while. Make phone calls, or sort your desk out while standing up. Honest – this will give you an energy boost!
5. Stay positive. A positive frame of mind will really help you to face tasks you’re dreading and will help you to increase your energy levels
6. Avoid alcohol. Given that you’re working long hours you are more likely to drink alcohol in the evening but this will prevent you from entering REM sleep which is the most restful sleep phase and in turn you’ll feel more tired in the morning.7. Drink more – water that is! Water keeps the body hydrated and you’ll have more energy. If you’re not peeing very often or your pee is dark then you really need to address this fast!
8. High blood pressure is a prime source of chronic fatigue – so get your blood pressure checked and if it is high address this through diet, exercise and see your GP for advice on medication. High blood pressure is a killer so get yourself checked out! Forewarned is forearmed.9. Something fishy … for more energy consume more fish. Foods that contain omega-3s – tuna and salmon will help to boost mood by fighting depression and leaving you more energized. If the only fish you like is called Nemo and it talks and appears in its own cartoon, then you can eat other things – simply add walnuts and flaxseed to your diet or take a fish-oil supplement instead (but watch out for fishy burps – bleugh).
10. Ditch your sugar. Sadly you’re going to need to avoid the sugary stuff but come on, you’re not stupid, that’s why you’re running your own business after all! Avoid foods such as doughnuts, crisps, cakes and crackers because they raise the levels of bad LDL cholesterol in your body, narrow your blood vessels and block the flow of good, healthy oxygenated and energy-rich blood. Choose whole grains instead because they contain roughage (good for the bowel) and natural sugars and you’ll feel full longer. A high fibre diet gives more energy than a low fibre one.
11. Losing weight will help you feel more energetic because you have less bulk to drag around with you.
12. Cardio exercise will help you to lose weight and also boost your energy levels. Good!13. Feeling nutty? That’s a good thing! Nuts are also high in magnesium and fibre which give your energy levels a boost so drop the chocolate bar, move away from the vending machine and tuck in instead to almonds and peanuts. These nuts are so nutrient dense that just one nut can provide enough calories to heat up half a cup of water. If you want to heat up half a cup of water that’s a really useful fact! 14. Another food worth adding to your diet is the humble egg. Eggs are the best provider of energy-boosting protein so have them for breakfast or add a hardboiled egg to your packed lunch or egg mayo to your midday sarnie.
15. Vegetables. Nuff said really, but just to convince you further the NHS advises that most people in the UK eat far too much fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables supply all of the vitamins, minerals and fibre that the body (your temple) needs to work properly. You can eat fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced fruit and vegetables and they will all count as one of your 5 a day.
16. Make sure you’re getting enough light. Lack of light can really depress your mood and make you feel tired. Open the blinds to make sure the office is bathed in sunlight or switch on your desk lamp of dull days.17. Splash some cool water on your face for an instant pick me up. It’s better for you than reaching automatically for another caffeine laden drink. 18. Wear bright vibrant colours into work. Vibrant greens and blues apparently will activate the neurons in the brain that help to keep your energy at its peak. It’s your business you can wear what you like so go dressed as a rainbow if that’s what you want to do, and feel the energy in the room. (Send us photo proof please).
19. Play it loud. According to a report in the Online Journal of Sport Psychology, loud music may be one of the most effective tools for relieving stress and fighting fatigue. Rock on! Additionally, playing background music at your desk will ensure you have less anxiety and more energy. It’s your business so you can play what you like. Nana Mouskouri anyone?20. Suck on something. Careful! Just by popping a sweet in your mouth or a piece of chewing gum you can increase your general level of energy and alertness and cheer yourself up at the same time. And if it’s a mint – you’ll be cheering your office colleagues up too!
21. Aroma – therapy. Apparently some scents (such as lemons) will lift your energy levels. A lemon is considered to have a stimulating scent, and again, it will improve your mood.
So how do you cope with working long hours and keeping your energy levels up? We’d love to hear from you. Join the conversation at Facebook or pop a comment below. 🙂