As the challenges of the pandemic continue and the hours of daylight get shorter, it’s understandable that you and your employees may feel fatigued, distracted, and perhaps mentally exhausted. Nonetheless, the company benefits when you and your employees are working at optimal levels and this can’t be done when you’re feeling down. Now’s the time to shake things up and re-energize.
Here are some ideas to help to get you back to peak. Many are obvious or known, but it’s helpful to remind yourself to do it!
1. Get physical.
Sitting in one place for a long time is enervating. It’s simple: regularly get up and move around. Yes, it’s time not devoted to doing work, but it’s essential so that the time you do spend is more focused and productive. Taking a walk at lunchtime may help.
2. Avoid negativity.
This can be certain people, news, or other things that are depressing. Feeling down is not helpful in focusing on work. Limit exposure to negative people and things as much as possible.
3. Take a break.
The proverbial coffee break isn’t something to scoff at. A 10-minute disconnect from work activities enables many people to resume work at a better level. What you do during the breaktime… actually drinking coffee or doing something else (e.g., a brief meditation, personal phone calls)…is not as important as just taking a break. One suggestion from Dr. Andrew Weill: “Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing.”
4. Limit meetings time.
Long meetings sap energy and don’t necessarily accomplish more than brief meetings with tight agendas.
5. Discover your work sweet spot.
This is the time when you’re most creative and productive. It may be the start of the day or after you’ve read email. Do the work that calls for the most creativity during your sweet spot and leave routine and administerial duties for other times of the day.
6. Use what works for you.
As many are working remotely, it’s easy to arrange the atmosphere most conducive to a good work environment. For some, it may be listening to music in the background, while others prefer silence; noise-canceling headphones may be helpful for some people. Fresh air from open windows may be good…or bad…depending on personal preference. Tae Yun Kim, a South Korean martial arts grandmaster and teacher, said: “Red stimulates and excites your nerves, pulse rate, and blood circulation, and lends energy to your entire system. When you are fatigued, lethargic or sluggish for any reason, red has an energizing influence.” How about a picture on your desk with a significant amount of red?
7. Pursue your passions after hours.
Work may be tiring, but recharging through hobbies, exercising, time with family and friends, or other passions can add tremendously to work-time energy.
8. Evaluate what’s sapping energy.
In addition to any of the issues already discussed, energy levels may be low because of lack of sleep, bad eating habits (e.g., getting a sugar high followed by a crash in energy), problems in relationships, and worries about money. Find the culprit and address the issues you can. Obviously, not everything is fixable, but some things are.
9. Reward employees and yourself.
Whether it’s a small thing, from pizza on Fridays for office staff or a gift box, such as b.minton*, for employees working in the office or remotely to a big thing, like bonuses for jobs well done, recognizing accomplishments can go a long way in re-energizing your employees. For yourself, as business owner, rewards may be tangible (seeing bigger profits) or intangible (knowing that your staff is loyal); both are great.
10. Remind yourself of why you’re working.
Owners and employees need to feel that their work is meaningful. Re-discover your company’s mission so everyone will feel energized to pursue it.
Oprah Winfrey said: “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
*For full disclosure, b.minton is my daughter’s company.