It’s 3 p.m.–do you know where your energy’s gone? You probably expect to feel that late-afternoon drag, but you don’t always have to. Turns out, some of your regular habits may be sneakily zapping your zip. Fix some or all of these energy stealers, and you just may be feeling brighter this afternoon.
Energy Zapper #1: Being Addicted to E-mail
Isn’t being wired to the hilt–e-mail, voice mail, IM, BlackBerry–supposed to boost productivity, freeing up your energy? More often, the opposite is true. If you continually halt what you’re doing to answer e-mail, check voice mail, and attend to a thousand other beeps and blips, your attention becomes diluted, which leaves you feeling depleted.
There are two things going on here: The brain needs a lot of physical and mental energy to multitask, which gets drained. And continually redirecting your attention from the BlackBerry to other stimuli siphons more energy and distracts your brain further.
Switch off electronic gadgets during your most productive work hours, which for most people tend to be in the morning, says Laura Stack, author of The Exhaustion Cure. As for e-mail, try to limit yourself to checking it once every hour, instead of hopping to whenever it beeps. (Hint: Turn off the beep sound.) If something pops into your mind that you need to remember–call back your mom, e-mail the soccer coach about the snack schedule–write it down and take care of it later.