Energy Efficiency: Not Just For Appliances Anymore (But People, Too)

Feeling run down at work lately?

It may be the 100-degree summer heat. Or, the hectic vacation schedules of your kids. But, more likely, it’s due to energy inefficiency during your workday.

Air conditioners, microwaves, and light fixtures are not the only items you should worry about turning energy efficient. People, too, require adequate sleep, exercise, proper diet, and reasonable stimulation—which all count as energy, effectively—to remain focused and alert at work.

Feeling irritable? Take a look at your diet.

Hunger increases a person’s awareness of their surroundings, says Dr. Mark Friedman, an associate director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, via LivesStrong. And this, continues Dr. Friedman, increases a person’s response to annoyances, such as someone listening to loud music in the adjacent office or audible conference calls on your colleague’s speakerphone.

Activities you hardly minded when full suddenly become unbearable when hungry.

Food is not the only culprit.

Bad moods, confusion, and fatigue are also spawned from dehydration, according to a study conducted by USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, via LivesStrong.

The study concluded even small drops in hydration can cause significant decreases in energy level.

So, if you don’t drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day, you may find your tempter to be quick but your analytical thinking and stride, not so much.

Feeling listless? Take a look at your physical activity.

Scientific research is clear about the positive effects of physical exercise, including reduction of stress and anxiety and improvement of self-esteem and coping skills, explains Len Kravitz, Ph.D., of the University of New Mexico, via LiveStrong.

Less clear are the excuses for not participating in sports, physical strengthening, or other healthy alternatives to TV. Ironically, if you’re feeling sapped for energy, it’s likely because you haven’t expended any all day.

So, get up from your office chair and work out. You’ll find it sharpens the body and the mind.

Having trouble concentrating?

Try getting more sleep at night. In the same way that daylight hours should be spent energy efficiently, nighttime should include 6-8 hours of uninterrupted, productive sleep.

Worried about how to implement these changes and still build a successful law career?

Share this with your CEO.

“The vast majority of organizations—and CEOs—have failed to fully appreciate the connection between how well they take care of their employees; how energized, engaged and committed those employees are as a result; how well they take care of clients and customers; and how well they perform over time,” writes Tony Schwartz for the Harvard Business Review Blog.

Law firm managers can improve the lives and health of its employees, while also benefiting business practice and productivity with a few undemanding steps to settle this employee energy crisis.

Read Schwartz’s ideas and implementable steps here.

“Put simply … leaders are spending more energy than they’re taking in. Do that with money, and you ultimately go bankrupt. Do it with your energy, and you’ll eventually be running on empty.”

Until your CEO follows suit, start by taking steps in your personal life to aid your professional one. Eat right, exercise, and sleep well. It’s that easy.

-WB

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