It’s the middle of the afternoon and you need a boost. What do you do? You could reach for the coffee, but caffeine loses its effect after a while. Not to mention it’s only a temporary lift. You need lasting energy. So what do you do?

Boost your Energy at Work
Energy drinks are so 2010. Here are 5 tips to really boost your energy from @MattMcWilliams2. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

Here are 5 ways to boost your energy at the office or at home. #3 changed my life…seriously.

1. Go green.

No, I don’t mean you need to recycle something. Add some green to your office or home.

A Taiwanese study (read it here…fascinating stuff) found that plants promote peaceful feelings. Real plants give you the added benefit of increased oxygen in the air and they act as a natural air purifier, but the study found that just the sight of plants decreased anxiety and stress. Anxiety and stress are energy vampires, sucking the life out of you. So, green things up and you’ll be more peaceful and energetic.

2. Get up and move.

As I’ve written before, movement increases mental acuity. It also boosts your energy.

If you sit all day on the job, or even if you use a standing desk like me, make sure to get up and move at least every half hour. Yes, every half hour. Break your workday into 27 minute segments and take 3 minutes to move around.

If you think that will eat up your day and make you less productive, think again. The added energy will help you get more done in less time.

3. Relax.

It might seem counterintuitive, but taking a few minutes 2-3 times during the day to completely relax will actually boost your energy.

During one of your breaks, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and let your entire body relax for 1-2 minutes. Clearing your mind and allowing your body to relax in this way will boost your energy within 10 minutes of doing it.

NOTE ON DEEP BREATHING: Most people do it wrong. A deep breath is not a grandiose inhale and quick “I’m going to blow your house down” puff. The inhale takes a full 10+ seconds and the same for the exhale. I’ve found it helps to parse your lips.

When I started doing this, it truly changed my life.

4. Get the right lighting.

Most offices have the wrong lighting.

It’s either too soft or it’s too direct. For optimal energy, get lighting that mimics the lighting you would find outside. Get 6500k bulbs that give off a bit of a blue tint. Turn off the overhead lighting if at all possible and stick to desk and floor lamps that point the light toward the walls or ceiling.

These are especially important during the winter months when natural light is less prevalent.

5. Be cool.

Your body uses more energy to cool itself than to warm itself.

Think about what is more exhausting…running on an 80 degree day or a 64 degree day. Both are only 8 degrees from room temperature, but one is sweltering while one is actually quite comfortable.

While you may not be running a race, your body is still working hard to cool you off when it is warm. So, make sure to stay cool during the day.

Normally, it is best to drink water that is only slightly cooler than room temperature, but if you need a lift, drink a glass of ice cold water. Or splash some cold water on your face or wash your hands in cold water. Your body will think that it has cooled off more than it has and will work less, giving you some extra energy.

Next time you need a boost, try any or all of these tips. You’ll find yourself no longer in need of that cup of Joe.

What tips do you have for someone in need of an energy boost?

16 thoughts on “5 Ways to Boost Your Energy. #3 Changed my Life

  1. Jon Stolpe says:

    Start your day with exercise. I excercise for 40-60 minutes almost every day before work. This is a huge aspect of getting my energy boosted from the very start of my day.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Yes! I read that it lasts up to 12 hours…meaning for most people a 6:30 AM workout lasts through the workday.

    2. I’m with you Jon – great way to start the day!

  2. Matt McWilliams says:

    Yes! I read that it lasts up to 12 hours…meaning for most people a 6:30 AM workout lasts through the workday.

  3. Lily Kreitinger says:

    I struggled with energy levels for the past year or so. I thought it was just having too much on my plate (husband, kids, home, work). I talked to my doctor and changing my eating has completely turned this around. Even after getting enough sleep, I’d feel drowsy during the day, to the point that I almost drove off the road going home from work because I fell asleep. I’ve changed my eating, cut out processed food, sugar and gluten (I know this is super hard!), but the key to steady energy levels has been snacking on protein. I eat five to six small meals a day and that has made a world of difference (along with probiotics and 25 other supplements I take daily ha ha ha). Thanks for this post, Matt! I’ll try relaxing and deep breathing. So easy and I forget about doing it!

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      So true. It really does all start with what goes in your body.

      I admittedly don’t eat super healthy like I should but I make sure my body gets what it needs to function. We are like machines in that regard. I might not change the oil when I should, but I make sure it has gas in the tank (and not diesel).

  4. Brett Thompson says:

    It starts with the first thing you put in your stomach in the morning…but even the healthiest need a lift sometimes. So, for me it’s a cold glass of water like you suggested, 1 minute of intense activity (running in place, pushups or the like), and an apple or two. Sometimes, a cup of green tea which is low caffeine helps too.

  5. Joe Lalonde says:

    Reflect on a time of success. Seeing our past successes can give us a quick boost of energy as we realize we’re capable.

  6. Dan Black says:

    I make sure to drink a lot of water and work out on a regular basis. Those two things really increase my energy level. Great tips!

  7. “So what’s my secret? I don’t know. Mostly good genes, I guess. And plenty of sleep. Fourteen hours a night, every night, no ifs, ands or buts. Also, keeping a moderate work schedule and taking frequent catnaps.”

    I couldn’t get Will Ferrell as Former President Bush out of my head.

    Oh, and I do take naps! I love naps!

    Great points Matt!

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      LOL now I have him in my head too. Thanks Matt.

  8. Jana Botkin says:

    Chocolate! Dark dark chocolate!

    Yeah, yeah, sleep, water, vitamins, exercise, plants, stretching, but where is the chocolate??

  9. Chinedum Samson says:

    Count your blessings and if one can speak in tongues, I encourage you to do that. It edifies you and of course, energizes you

  10. Joshua Rivers says:

    With breathing, I heard that you should breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Using your nose to inhale helps to filter the air a little. I guess it also helps to moisten the air (versus breathing through your mouth), protecting your mouth/throat from drying out.

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