*Note* Functional Five is the name of my new advice column, which I will post semi-regularly on the blog.
Many people may become bored or absent-minded at work. Considering that is my personality specialty, at the ripe young age of 19-years-old, I have lots of (unscientific) advice to offer. Here are some simple solutions, to be done outside of the office, which can improve your productivity.
Eat a healthy breakfast
Upon waking up, the average person has not eaten for several hours. (This is not a scientific fact, as much as it is factoring in how long someone was asleep.) While sugar, fat and carbohydrates can be found in breakfast items, try to eat something healthy with protein and nutrients. I cannot stress this enough. Recommended items include oatmeal, a protein shake, eggs, toast with peanut butter or Greek yogurt with fruit. (In all actuality, including fruit with anything you eat is not a bad idea.) Cereal can perfectly jump start your day, but make sure to stay away from sugary cereal as you will be hungry way before lunch. Beginning your day with a healthy, balanced diet will set your day off to the right start (that you can halt with a lunch trip to the local taco stand). Just imagine, “Mmm, I can enjoy this delicious, grease bomb of a taco, because I had whole wheat toast with an apple this morning.”
Look at famous people, like Benjamin Franklin, Marilyn Monroe or Eleanor Roosevelt, all of whom were stone cold foxes that happened to wear sunglasses. Besides increasing your “cool factor,” polarized sunglasses decrease the amount of sunlight entering the eyelets. (No duh.) You might find your “morning headache” suddenly vanishes, or your eyes become less exhausted by a computer screen. And if that doesn’t happen, at least your eyes are now covered, and no one else knows. (For obvious reasons, I am suggesting wearing sunglasses outside. Wearing sunglasses indoors only increases your “creepy factor.”)
Those who exercise regularly experience an increase in overall health, and improvements in concentration, stamina and confidence. While high intensity exercise will show the greatest results, make sure to exert yourself at a level appropriate for your current state of fitness. (The first time I went to a boot camp workout, I had to run away behind the bushes to have a quick chat with my breakfast. Sadly, this incident was recorded on video. That was not a good day for me…) Even taking brisk walks help, because, if nothing else, it will force you into the beautiful Texas weather.
Read a novel
While reading a novel may not be as exciting as watching a 3D film, reading stimulates your brain and can subsequently unlock inner creativity. Novels are also proven to improve intelligence, vocabulary and cultural understanding. (Note: these rules do not apply to the Gossip Girl books. Ugh, barf.) While there are always perennial classics, recent releases like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, The Help, The Hunger Games and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo prove modern novels can be fantastic.
Have fun outside of work
Who wants to go home to dirty dishes? (Not me.) Having something fun, and important, to attend after work can increase your productivity; just make sure you aren’t sloppy in your efforts to leave work on time. Plan weeknights around TV shows, family game nights or cooking dinner together, and wait until the weekend to spend money or go downtown. While having fun after work is always important, make sure you can still function properly the next morning. Also, don’t let your age hinder your social plans; I often hear embarrassing reports from my friends about what they saw my parents doing at a concert the week before.