Posted by Robert Half on 24 October 2014
We’ve all had moments where we find ourselves fighting to stay awake at our desks. But before you reach for that cup of coffee, why not try these tips first?
In a perfect world, we’d all be able to clock our requisite eight hours of sleep every night. However, many of us survive on increasingly lesser shuteye, thanks to late nights in the office, having to take care of children, and other commitments.
Sleep deprivation, unsurprisingly, inevitably leads to a loss of focus and concentration at work.
When you next feel the urge to snooze in the office, consider practising some of these tips:
Do the “breath of fire”
If you practise yoga on a regular basis, you’d probably already be familiar with this breathing technique that involves rapid breathing, rhythmically and rapidly through your nostrils, pulling your solar plexus in during inhalations to make sure the breaths are not shallow ones. This breathing technique is known to help improve your sense of well-being, in addition to boosting your concentration. Try doing it for 30 seconds when you feel yourself nodding off at your desk.
While more studies are needed to find out exactly how they work, early research regarding using acupressure to stimulate alertness have been promising. Use a tapping or light massaging technique to the following areas of your body: The top of your neck on both sides, just under your knees, and the top of your head. This technique may help reduce daytime sleepiness. If all else fails or you remain a skeptic, why not use that lunch break to get a massage and have a quick nap at the same time? Recharge yourself with a 30-minute power nap. There’s a reason why a growing number of companies are embracing this practice.
Do menial tasks when you feel exhausted
Multi-tasking seems to be receiving a bad reputation of late, but there will come a time when exhaustion will make it impossible for you to work on that assignment that requires mental focus and creative energy. When that time comes, put down whatever you’re doing and instead, work on completing those seemingly mindless administrative tasks (such as filing or backing up your files) instead. Not only are you still being productive, checking off one more thing on that never-ending to-do list might just give you that satisfying boost of energy you need to get through the day.
Watch a funny video
You know how your Facebook or social media feed is filled with videos involving funny things that babies and pets do? The best time to click on those is when you find yourself nodding off in your cubicle. You breathe deeper when you laugh, and the intake of air will stimulate your brain, heart, and muscles, as well as the production of endorphins, promoting a sense of well-being, making it impossible to fall asleep after that.