8 Tips to Help You Stay Awake and Focused at Work

Written by Theodora Evans

You need to stay alert and focused to be productive at work. But if you have to work at night often or you constantly experience an afternoon slump, you need to discover the proven techniques for staying awake during the day. Fortunately, these time-tested tips listed below can help you to boost your energy level, keep your eyes open and achieve your goals at work.

1. Take a brief nap

Sleeping for just 30 minutes or less can help you avoid performance lapses at work. That’s what researchers discovered when they studied pilots on trans-pacific flights. However, sleeping for longer than 45 minutes can make you feel groggy after waking up. This is because sleep inertia occurs after you get into deep sleep. But you can walk around after you wake up and get rid of this feeling. Then you will feel sharper and work more efficiently.

2. Move around often

To improve circulation and blood flow throughout your body, you need to stay active. If it’s not possible to do vigorous exercise at work, you should take breaks at least once every hour during the day. For example, you can get up from your desk, stretch your body and walk around for a few minutes before you go back to your seat. During your break time, take a short walk for about 15 minutes to allow more oxygen to reach all your cells for better alertness.

3. Take caffeine

Caffeine is a well-known stimulant present in drinks like coffee, cocoa powder and green and black tea. A recent study on caffeine showed that a 30 ml cup of coffee has 126mg of caffeine.  A typical cup of black tea has 47mg. Some people prefer to drink coffee because it provides instant stimulation, while others choose tea because it contains less caffeine.

The common reason for substituting tea for coffee is that the initial energy boost is usually followed by a crash. To avoid this crash, however, you may sip a small amount of coffee at a time. It will give you a milder stimulating effect and help you avoid the drop in energy that may occur during the day.

4. Eat healthy snacks

The kind of food you eat during the day can keep you alert or make you feel sluggish. Eating healthy snacks will keep your energy level high. Snacks such as nuts, Greek yoghurt, fresh fruit, boiled eggs, and vegetable slices can keep you satiated and energised all day. This is because healthy snacks digest slowly and they draw less energy during digestion. Also, they provide a steady release of blood glucose instead of the spikes that come when you eat sugar-filled beverages and junk food.

5. Listen to music

Listening to rock and roll or jazz music can help you to remain alert while at work. As long as you don’t get so carried away and start dancing. Also, listening to classical music helps you to concentrate while you read or write. If you are sharing your office with others in an open plan arrangement, you should use earphones so you don’t distract others.

6. Brighten up your workspace

Bright light boosts your concentration. Your normal body clock expects you to experience about 12 hours of light and 12 hours darkness daily. Normally, alertness is associated with daytime. So you can keep your brain awake by increasing the light in the place where you work. If you feel tired, add an additional spotlight or lamp to your workstation. You may also open your curtains to increase natural light or move into the sunshine.

7. Stay Hydrated

Keeping your body hydrated is the key to staying alert. In addition to numerous health benefits of hydration, taking enough water (about 8 glasses a day) will increase your energy levels. Staying hydrated enhances the flow of glucose and oxygen to the cells in the brain and other organs. It also lubricates the joints. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, you can drink water infused with lemon. The tingling taste will motivate you to drink more and improve your alertness while you work.

8. Remain Positive

Don’t allow negative thoughts to drain your energy. Develop a positive mental attitude and keep your mind on thoughts of success. Use positive affirmations to keep yourself motivated while you work. For instance, muttering to yourself, “I can complete this task within 1 hour”, will keep your energy at a higher level than thinking “I feel tired, now how can I complete all these tasks before closing time?”

From napping to moving around to taking caffeine and eating healthy food, there are various ways to stay alert at work. Now that you know what to do to keep yourself awake all day, you need to try them out. Bear in mind that every individual is different, and you may need to try different combinations of these tips to discover what gives you the best results.

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author

Theodora Evans

Theodora is a passionate blogger from Sydney and she is someone you would call an IT nerd. Also, she takes great interest in psychology and helping people deal with their mental and anxiety issues. Besides that, she loves martial arts and enjoying the nature.