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6 ways to stay awake, energetic and focused on work (caffeine free)

Caffeine is a fixed wild card, but the brief bursts of energy it produces offer only a short-term solution.

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This article was updated on December 23, 2019

Workdays can feel like a roller coaster ride. Between the ups and downs of day-to-day responsibilities , many people go through peaks of stress, valleys of energy and crashes, while trying to squeeze as much productivity as they can between falls.

Caffeine is a common wild card, but the brief bursts of energy it produces offer only a short-term solution . To help you get your day back, here are six ways to keep you awake, energized and focused, without caffeine.

1. Brief office exercises to get blood flow

If you've ever taken a walk to clear your mind, you've experienced the benefit that getting up and moving can bring you to focus. But you don't need to leave your office to have this benefit.

Try some squats at the desk, move your chair back a few inches and your feet shoulder width apart. Then bend your knees as if you were going to sit in the chair until you begin to feel the cushion underneath you, and step back in one motion.

More? Do a series of push-ups . Place the palms of your hands on your desk and take a few steps back so that your body creates a 45-degree angle with the floor. Hold your core tight and lower yourself toward the desk by bending your elbows. Repeat.

2. Healthy food that naturally stimulates the brain and helps keep you focused

One of the best ways to maintain your energy and focus throughout the day is to eat strategically . To reach a state of sustained energy you need a couple of carbohydrates and proteins.

Carbohydrates like whole grains take a long time to digest, allowing you to have energy from them for longer. Pair that with protein, your body converts a large percentage of it into energy. Add some green vegetables. Food such as spinach or cabbage are rich in vitamin B, folate and vitamin K, which, according to some studies, contribute to improving brain functions and attention.

3. Breathing exercises that help oxygenation

You probably don't think about your breathing often, but ingesting oxygen can impact your concentration. Breathing exercises can increase your oxygen intake, which relaxes you and allows you to work smarter.

While sitting in a chair, place your shoulders firmly on the back of your seat and sit up straight. Breathe out as much air as you can and then breathe in slowly from your diaphragm, taking in as much air as possible. Hold your breath for five seconds and exhale slowly. Repeat 10 times.

4. Plan breaks away from the computer to rest your eyes and refresh your mind.

You're in good company if you get a headache, dry eyes, or fatigue while watching your computer for a while. Computer vision syndrome can produce these symptoms if you have been watching a screen for a long time. The American Association of Optometrists recommends taking a 15-minute break every two hours to help combat these symptoms.

This rest will not only help your eyes, but also disconnecting from that environment will refresh your mind. You should also try more frequent breaks with the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes look at something that is 20 meters away for 20 seconds. That helps your eyes to refocus and stay in focus for longer.

5. Writing that uses your creative energies in a new and free way

Take 15 minutes to jot down some thoughts to clear your mind. Grabbing a pen and paper can put your mind in a different frame than when you're typing and can help you regain focus.

If you find it difficult to figure out what to write, try going with the stream of consciousness: Write what comes to your mind to get on an initial scroll, and then any thoughts that come to you.

6. Hydration

Being a little dehydrated is not only annoying, it can also be detrimental to your cognitive functions. Research shows that even mild dehydration can significantly affect short-term memory and attention. To combat this, make sure you are consuming enough water each day. For men, the World Health Organization (WHO)recommends 2.5 liters of water and for women 2.2 liters .

If being tied to a water bottle sounds difficult enough, don't worry. You can get a large amount of water from food, such as fruits or vegetables, which during the day help you fill in the amount of water you need to drink.

Some of these techniques may work better than others. For maximum benefit, try a combination of these for several weeks to see how your mind and body respond. With the correct settings, you will see a tangible increase in your energy and focus and be able to move towards your goals.

Firas Kittaneh

Written By

Firas Kittaneh is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of amerisleep. Most recently, he launched OCLU to improve how we record our most memorable moments.