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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Productivity

The 5-Minute Routine That Always Energizes Me at Work on Slow Days

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When you’re not feeling like yourself at work, it seems impossible to bounce back. You think to yourself, “Tomorrow’s a new day, but for now I’m just going to stare at GIFs of kittens.” But don’t throw in the towel for the day just yet.

Because if you have five minutes—and it sounds like you do—you can try this energy-boosting routine. It’s so jam-packed with activities that it’ll be hard to end it without feeling like you can take on anything.

Or, if not anything, at least get through your next project.

One Minute: Stand Up & Stretch

Great, another person telling you to get more exercise, right? Before you jump to any conclusions, hear me out. You don’t need to run a marathon to energize yourself at work. In fact, according to a Forbes article, sports scientist Jack Groppel says that short movements throughout your workday can “boost energy, engagement, and efficiency.”

For some people, that might mean standing up periodically. For others, it might require you to take a lap around the office. But don’t get too caught up on the type of activity you do—and especially don’t worry about the duration. Just get yourself moving for 60 seconds.

Two Minutes: Complete a (Short) Online Errand

Is there an Amazon order you’ve been meaning to complete? Do you have a bill that you know is due in the next day or two? Did your mother ask you to send her an article on how to reset the wireless (again)?

Choose one of those short errands and spend two minutes completing it. I don’t know about you, but I get a boost of energy any time I can check something off my to-do list—especially when it’s on my personal checklist.

Plus, when you leave the office at the end of the day, you’ll have more time to do something for yourself. And trust me, buying shampoo on the internet does not count as “self-care.”

One Minute: Write Down Your Weekend Plans

This sounds counterproductive, but hear me out. If you’re low on energy, you’re probably lacking the motivation to get anything done as well. And I’ve found that when I’m not feeling motivated, thinking about my weekend plans gives me a jolt.

You might have something really fun on the docket. Or you might have two days of nothing ahead of you. Neither one is wrong. But no matter what’s going on, write it down on a sticky note, and put it on your monitor.

You’ll be surprised how much harder you’ll work when you know there’s a reminder that a reward is getting closer and closer.

One Minute: Text a Friend

Check in with someone you care about. Maybe you’ve given someone radio silence by accident after they asked you a question. Or, maybe you just need to tell someone that you don’t have a ton of energy right now.

My closest friends and I use a group chat app to tell bad jokes and update each other on our lives. And when I just want to put my head down and take a nap at work, nothing boosts my energy more that getting in on the action.

Five minutes might not seem like a lot of time to energize yourself, especially when all you want to do is go home for the day. But even if you give it a try, you might just find yourself with the boost you need to crush the rest of your day. And, the best part is that over time, it’ll become more of a habit than a practice. When that happens, the pressure of merely “powering through” a tough day at work will fall on your shoulders far less often.

If you give these tips a shot, let me know how it goes on Twitter.