How to slay your work week like a boss
Get fit, get organised, get that damn promotion
Thanks to countless distractions all around us, paying attention for extended periods of time is something that evades most people, especially the younger generation.
The problem: Attention span/ ADHD
The trick: Play a game like Sudoku
Why it works: Playing a game may sound silly, but it’s commonly used in treating kids with ADHD. Engaging in activities decrease restlessness. Being fully immersed in trying to solve a problem delays impulses in the long-term. "In adults, ADHD or an attention deficit expresses itself as novelty experiences or substance abuse." While medication is often used in treating adults, by correctly channeling this energy — whether through setting physical or mental goals — one can train their brain to focus on a new purpose.
Dragging yourself out of bed on a Monday morning may require a Herculean effort, but breezing through the work week just got a whole lot easier. We detail out the reminders you need to set to get through the toughest five days of the week with nary a slip-up in sight.
Stay on top of your meals
Stay away from the politics of office snacks and greasy take-out. You need foods that keep your energy levels up till you clock out (without the sugar crash). Try carbs with a low glycaemic index like quinoa, pasta, brown rice, noodles and wholemeal bread. Stash away a few snacks like raw cashews, almonds, freeze-dried berries and coconut flakes for a pick-me-up. Or indulge in a small pack of wasabi peas or spiced chickpeas; unlike other processed foods, these contain fibre and satiate the craving for something crunchy.
…and get a plant
A desk plant can probably help you bag that promotion. A study by the University of Exeter, UK found that it improves productivity by almost 40 per cent and reduces your sick days. Our suggestion: start with a low-maintenance cactus.
Tackle messy hair
No matter how hard we try, it’s impossible to find that extra five minutes to fix our hair in the morning. Always have a plan B at your desk because you don’t want to be stuck with a bad ’do all day. Stock up on a conditioning spray to smoothen frizzy curls. You’ll also need a dry shampoo to freshen up limp greasy roots (changing your hair parting adds more bounce). A texturising spray can lift a flat mane and treat headphone hair. It’s also a smart move to invest in a commuter scarf to keep from damaging a fresh blow-out.
Label. M Protein Spray, Rs 1,250 and BBlunt Back to Life Dry Shampoo, Rs 550.
…and stash some lotion
This multitasker is your most trusted teammate as it can smoothe flyaway hair, reduce static (it’s a result of dry skin) and refresh foundation (dab a drop on your face). If you’re uncomfortable with desk-side primping, try a more discreet moisturising stick.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Swivel Stick, Rs 935.
Stay flexible all day
Ditch the Frappuccinos and try a few relaxation techniques to recharge your batteries. Take time to press acupressure points with your fingertips, like the top of the skull, between the brows, inner hollows of the eyes, in front of the ears and the base of the nose to improve circulation. And remember to give your eyes a break with the 20-20-20 rule. Set an alarm every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds or try the eyeCare Chrome browser extension, which prompts you with vision exercises.
…and keep yawning
It’s not just a sign of boredom or lack of oxygen in your body (scary, right?) but yawning is also the body’s way of regulating its temperature. The air that rushes in cools you down, which helps you think better and relieves tension, too.
Clear up the anxiety
You probably know that age doesn’t matter when it comes to sprouting zits, but did you know your panic attacks could actually prompt them? The connection is quite clear: cortisol, the stress hormone (which is also blamed for a muffin-top) increases inflammation and causes breakouts. Reducing stress isn’t easy, but you can keep some SOS breakout remedies handy. Look for an acne fighter that contains retinoid, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to suck out extra oil. You can also try tea-tree oil to dry out the blemish or eye drops to instantly reduce redness.
The Body Shop Super-Sized Tea Tree Oil, Rs 1,195
…and chew more
Next time you’re battling a deadline, pop a piece of chewing gum. A study conducted by the Swinburne University, Australia found that chewing gum lowers cortisol levels during stressful situations. This means lesser anxiety and a more alert mind.
Have a fresh outlook
A brutal travel schedule can leave you looking puffy, with dry skin. It’s definitely not how you want to show up for a meeting. Pack a face oil and face mist to stay hydrated during your flight. Keep your make-up light so you can even tackle it during a cab ride. First use a moisturising facial wipe to rejuvenate your complexion, then apply a concealer under the eyes. Finish with mascara, brow gel and cream blush to bring colour to your face.
FACES Canada Lip Crayon Rs 799 and Benefit Fine One One Blush, Rs 2,300 approx.
Organize your mail
Not everyone can go the Marie Kondo way for their desks, but you can clean up those storage-zapping e-mails. If you don’t have the time to tackle it yourself, sign up at FindBigMail.com, which goes through your inbox (discreetly) and tags and files away all the large-sized mails you can delete.