Productivity: Your Afternoon Boost

February 15th, 2017:

Have you ever noticed your energy levels dropping as the afternoon rolls around? It feels like you are no longer being productive? If you do, you are not alone. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the average American office worker is only productive for around 3 hours a day. That number is pretty surprising considering we spend an average of about 8.8 hours at work every day!

Simply forcing yourself to be more productive is not an easy task. Sure, a few cups of coffee here and a few caffeine pills there will certainly give you a boost, but those boosts can also come with negative side effects such as insomnia, restlessness, and even an upset stomach. There is an alternative way to boost your productivity in the office while avoiding negative side effects; regular exercise!

Now, it is true that many may feel as if exercise is a chore and there is never enough time in the day. Exercise does not have to be going to the gym for 2 hours a day until you can no longer lift a finger. I challenge you to approach exercise from a different perspective; try to find an immediate benefit to the activity rather than relying on some far out goal. Enjoy yourself with the little things and do not focus so much on the big picture. Maybe you are having trouble coming up with a solution to a problem and a short 15-minute walk can give you the alertness and energy boost you need to think of it. Exercising has the ability to increase blood flow to the brain which directly helps to sharpen your awareness.

Another positive way to look at exercise is the benefit to your mental health. Often throughout our careers, we experience high levels of stress and anxiety - maybe that deadline came up a lot quicker than you thought, maybe one of your team members has not been fully committed - stress and anxiety can be caused by many things. Thirty minutes of moderate intensity, such as a brisk walk three times a week, can offer the following benefits: improved sleep, better endurance, stress relief, improved mood, increased energy, weight reduction, and reduced cholesterol.

Now imagine all of those benefits from just 30 minutes of brisk walking aiding you throughout your work day. The 30 minutes of brisk walking is also the bare minimum requirement. Maybe you begin that regimen and begin to like it so much you increase your activity! My point is that there are only positive benefits to regular exercise and those positive benefits will absolutely improve your productivity throughout the day and leave you wanting more. So what are you waiting for? Get up and go get some exercise!

-Alex Goguen, Jr. Mechanical Engineer

Posted in: Productivity