Before you head to the coffee shop on the corner and plunk down 4 bucks for an overpriced latte, try these five tricks to burn off that afternoon fog and kick yourself into high gear for the last couple hours of the workday.
1) SMELL YOUR BEANS
You ever think that coffee has given you a burst of energy before you’ve even taken your first sip? You aren’t kidding yourself. The smell of coffee alone is enough to give people the jolt they need to get back into focus. Simply take a small bag of whole coffee beans or fresh grounds and take a whiff to perk up without even pouring a cup.
2) CHEW YOUR ICE
Chomping on frozen water isn’t just for the sexually frustrated. If you find yourself dozing off at your desk a mouthful of ice can give you the jolt you need because your brain isn’t used to such chilling temperatures and is forced to work harder. In fact, chewing anything—even your pen cap—tricks your brain into thinking that you’re about to ingest something, causing your body to release insulin, which stimulates your function and awareness.
3) GET OUT AND MOVE
Nothing stimulates your body and mind better than some good ole fashion exercise. Just as you feel those mid afternoon yawns creeping on step away from your desk, head outside and take a ten-minute walk. The sunshine and fresh air combined with increased blood flow to your entire body will help invigorate you to charge through the rest of your day. Research actually suggests that periodically taking short breaks will help increase your productivity, so don’t fret about reneging on your responsibilities. Stepping away from your desk, and stretching your legs will actually help you in producing quality, timely work.
4) TURN UP THE VOLUME
Listening to music not only helps you relax, it can give you the added energy boost you desperately need when your eyelids begin to droop. When you listen to your favorite tunes you are more likely to be grooving along to it. Even the slightest movement keeps your body stimulated and your brain engaged.
5) TAKE A STAND
Long hours sitting behind a desk and completing repetitive tasks can be monotonous and surprisingly tiring. If you can’t escape your desk for a mid afternoon stroll, mix up your routine by standing for an hour or two in the afternoon. Standing while working can boost your productivity and cognitive function; some studies have suggested that productivity increases upwards of 50 percent for people who use standing workstations. Consider investing in an electronic height-adjustable desk like the Standee Flex to fend off those afternoon blues.