I recently read an article in Psychology Today about how good employees stay focused and driven at work (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-procrastination-equation/201112/beyond-the-coffee-crutch-the-secret-vitality-work). It was full of delusional – oops, I mean HELPFUL – tips like not drinking caffeine, not answering emails and not surfing the web. Hmm.

Upon reading this optimistic list of stellar employable qualities I was washed with a wave of guilt. All I drink at work is caffeine. Sitting in front of my computer most the day means that I not only surf the web, but I over analyze my music selection (actually this article said that listening to music is a no-no too), respond to phone calls and emails as they come, and even watch the occasional YouTube video. Sudden panic set in, should I be fired?

Whoa there work self, calm down. For those of you like me, I’d like to set out a revised list of how to focus and stay energetic at work. (Disclaimer: I don’t do all of these. In fact, the only ones I can say I do with consistency are 4 & 6…)

  1. Caffeine can help, but drink water too. I mean, who can argue with caffeine’s, well, caffeinating qualities?
  2. Eat! I mean, not all the time, but don’t wait until your stomach is growling to get yourself a snack or lunch. It will force you to move around and eat smaller amounts more often.
  3. Get up every couple of hours, even if it’s just to walk into the next room and say hi to a coworker. Yes, it may annoy them, but you’ll feel refreshed.
  4. Listen to energizing music that helps you focus. Dubstep? Gangsta rap? Bach? I’m not gonna judge, whatever works.
  5. Intersperse fun tasks with the more benign ones.
  6. Allow yourself a couple minutes of mindless web surfing or NyanCat-like You Tubeness at least every hour. Anything that makes you laugh is bound to be energizing.
  7. Write yourself a task list for the following day.
  8. By all means, if it’s 5:30 on a Friday and you’ve finished a task and don’t have the energy to begin another, update your WordPress!

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