Increasing Your Energy at Work

By: Julie East, Corporate Marketing & Recruiting

Jan 12, 2021

When I get to the office, I grab a cup of coffee and hit the ground running! My energy level first thing in the morning is at a high. By mid-afternoon, however, that changes, and just like my phone, I need recharging. Energy is the basis for all that I accomplish, and if you are like me, then you are always in need of a way to increase or prolong that momentum.  If so, then there’s no better place to start than by examining our habits.  

It’s a proven fact that our daily habits define our energy levels and impact our productivity.  Having good habits at home and work can not only leave us feeling more energized throughout the day, but can also lead to more overall productivity, both mentally and physically.  Below are tips for developing good habits that can increase and sustain those energy levels.



Sleep is the foundation for how well you feel and perform throughout the day. Without adequate rest, your internal battery can’t recharge, which can cause you to underperform. Research suggests that getting at least seven to eight hours of restful sleep will help you stay cognitively sharp throughout the day.  Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, can have negative physical and mental effects, leaving you feeling tired, foggy, and just generally slower all day long.  It can also result in continuous declines in job performance and an increase in on-the-job accidents.   

Try this habit-forming experiment:  for the next 30 days, go to bed by 10PM every night, including on the weekends. (For those of you on the night shift, find a time that gives you seven to eight hours dedicated to sleep and stick with that time each day.)  After 30 days, analyze your energy levels to see if the consistent restful sleep has given you more energy…or at least left you less groggy.



When you first get into work, aim to get the most important tasks done in the first four hours of the workday. Your energy levels at the start of your shift are generally at the optimum level to be the most productive.  Prioritizing those more mentally-challenging or time-consuming projects gives you the added benefit of your full attention and potential.  Smaller projects that don’t require as much focus can be handled later in the shift when your energy levels are perhaps lower.  

The benefits to utilizing this tactic are both physical and psychological. Not only will you feel better because you have accomplished so much, but your job performance will improve as well. Supervisors and Managers will see your productivity and accomplishments. It’s a win-win! As with the sleep experiment, try this approach for a month and see if you recognize any improvements to mood and job performance.



Making a list of your daily, weekly and monthly tasks not only keeps you focused on what you need to do, but having that visible record of the assignments you’ve completed will provide a true sense of accomplishment. This, done in conjunction with hitting the hard tasks first, is a proven recipe for success.  It even provides a boost in your energy!  When we experience even a small amount of success, our brains release dopamine, which is connected to feelings of pleasure, learning and motivation. We are eager to repeat the actions that resulted in that success. Neuroscientists refer to this as “self-directed learning.”  When I check off that item on my list, I do a little happy dance! Way to go, Julie!



Exercise has many benefits including boosting energy levels. I have recently added this to my morning routine and I can already tell a difference! Not only do I have more energy in the morning, but the physical benefits are paying off, too.  I am not as tired going up and down stairs, my joints don’t ache as much, and my energy is lasting longer into the workday.  

If you struggle to find time for exercise, don’t make going to the gym your prerequisite. I had the same excuse! Make a habit of doing some simple pushups or flutter kicks every morning.  These will get your heart pumping and blood moving for the long day.  You can add a gym membership or fitness class on top of this foundational habit, but a basic investment in exercise will keep you sharp even when you cannot make it to the gym.



When you feel your energy level starting to plummet, the first instinct is to grab a sugary snack or soda. Sugar consumption, much like certain drugs and behaviors, triggers the release of dopamine in the brain's reward center. We crave sugar to try to stimulate a dopamine response and generate a boost in energy.  However, when we consume too much of it, we actually sabotage our own energy levels.  Our bodies develop a resistance, which causes us to crave more and more sugar just to achieve that dopamine response. But consuming more and more sugar also causes weight gain and diabetes, both of which zap energy reserves. Seek out other forms of increasing your energy for a healthier, longer-lasting boost.



Even with all our good intentions, there are days when your energy is spent! Napping may feel lazy or wrong, but there is actual research showing it has a range of cognitive benefits. I’m not suggesting popping a cot out in the middle of the office or on the warehouse floor, but taking a nap in your car during your scheduled break is a great place to get in a quick nap. There is a nice shady spot near my office that has been used a few times as my napping ground. Roll the windows down, let that breeze come through and take a 20 to 30 minute nap to recharge your batteries! Anything longer than 30 minutes is too much, however.  Longer naps push you into deeper phases of sleep, which can cause you to feel even groggier when you wake up. The key is to set an alarm on your phone or watch to wake up on time.    

It only takes 30 days to establish a healthy habit and see positive results.  Try these tips and see how your energy levels change and improve. Not only will you feel better, but your overall work performance will benefit, as well.


About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Contact us today

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