One of the things that is always a challenge when juggling a large list of want-to-dos with parenting, working and other commitments, is actually making things happen. It’s hard to motivate yourself to productivity when the baby was up at 3am or you have to get up at the crack of dawn to make the kids’ lunches before everyone can go off to their day. You find yourself, at 2pm, staring blankly into space or reading the same sentence over and over again. How do you manage to get your butt in gear?
Here’s a list of nine ways to dredge up some get up and go, when it’s gotten up and went.
1) Go for a five minute walk.
It’s surprising how much energy you’ll get from a quick schlep around the block. There have been research studies on immediate energy boosts, but I’m going with personal experience here. The rain (if you’re in Vancouver in the fall) or biting winter breeze or sunny May morning air will get you out of comatose-ville faster than you can say ‘Starbucks triple shot venti latte’.
2) Have a coffee.
Speaking of Starbucks, sometimes a midafternoon latte will be just the ticket to get everything coming together again.
3) Put the alarm clock on the other side of the room.
This prevents the use of the dreaded ‘snooze’ button, my husband’s best friend. The hard part about getting up is actually launching your body out of your nice, warm bed. If the alarm clock is on the other side of the room, or, even better, outside the room entirely, you’ll have to get up. And once you’re in a vertical position, you’re more likely to stay that way.
4) Get up and stretch.
Often, just the act of getting your body moving again will get the blood flow reaching your brain. Do some shoulder rolls, kick your legs in your chair, do some wrist stretches. Stand up and get a glass of water. And speaking of water…
5) Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.
Your body, like Earth itself, is comprised mainly of water. Not Pepsi. Not lemonade. And most definitely not Red Bull. Sometimes sleepy and hungry are just disguises for plain ordinary thirst. So add another glass or four of water into your day-to-day.
6) Snack selectively.
I’m a snacker. I eat lots of small meals throughout the day, and when I get hungry, my blood sugar dips and crabby approaches at a rapid rate. Bring on the almonds and cranberries! Sometimes a quick burst of healthy energy will get you back in the proverbial saddle.
7) Breakfast, breakfast, breakfast.
Eat breakfast like a queen, lunch like a princess and dinner like a pauper. Breakfast eaters tend to be slimmer and have more energy. Your body has been in starvation mode since bedtime…cut it some slack and throw some eggs and toast in there!
8) Call a friend.
Take ten minutes (set a timer so you don’t get sidetracked!) and call your best friend or partner and give yourself time to recharge. Diverting your brain to a different activity can get those synapses to fire up again.
And finally, get more sleep. If your body is screaming for rest, it’s going to be hard to marshall your brain into gear. Try starting a wind-down process an hour before bed, with no screen time (that includes the all powerful iPhone!) for half an hour before you shut your eyes. After a week of an additional hour or two of sleep, you’ll just generally feel better, and that will show itself in how you perform in every other way. And you won’t walk into things quite as often, nor fall asleep with your nose on the keyboard!