This is a guest post by Alison Stanton.
Whether you own your own business or get the chance to telecommute through your regular job, the number of people working from home has increased in recent years. As Global Workplace Analytics notes, telecommuting has increased almost 80 percent since 2005, and Forbes notes that just over half of small businesses are home-based. While working from home has a lot of perks — from more flexible schedules and fewer distractions to cutting back on commuting costs and more — like any job, there will be days when it’s hard to find the motivation and energy to get everything done.
The following four tips will help home-based workers naturally boost their energy and help make their days as productive as possible:
When you are sitting in your home office focusing on your business and related projects, it can be hard to remember to get up and get moving once in awhile. But as Real Simple notes, one of the best ways to get a natural energy boost is to go outside at least once a day. Research has found that being outdoors helps reduce the levels of stress hormones we have in our bodies, while also increasing our levels of serotonin, which can increase our energy levels. Try incorporating regular outside time into your daily schedule, and pencil in maybe two 10-minute blocks when you can walk around the block, or even just sit out on your patio and admire the blue sky and puffy white clouds.
Give Green Tea a Try
If your energy level starts to wane around the same time every day, you might be tempted to reach for a Venti whatever with extra espresso shots. Another option, notes ABC4, is green tea. In addition to containing a small amount of caffeine — usually enough to get you through a mid-afternoon slump — WebMD notes that the tasty tea’s natural catechin content is great for the brain. Research has found that people who regularly drink green tea showed a higher level of activity in the part of their brains that deal with memory.
Beautify Your Surroundings with Plants
As a small business owner, you can sometimes get so caught up in your work and making sure your clients are happy that you forget to take care of the little things that can make a difference in your overall energy level and happiness. For example, take an honest look at your home office space. Is it cluttered and covered with a bit more dust than you care to admit, or is it nicely organized and decorated with lovely accessories that will boost your mood and your productivity? Spend some time making your home office as organized as possible and add personal touches like photos of the kids and pets.
In addition, you might want to add a plant or two to your office décor; interestingly, a study conducted by UK-based Exeter found that the simple act of having an office plant can boost an employee’s creativity by 45 percent and productivity by 38 percent. To find an office plant you like, visit a website like FTD; not only does it have a wide variety of lovely plants in stock, but you can order them quickly and conveniently online.
Remember to Breathe
When you are up against a deadline or trying to answer dozens of client emails, it can be hard to remember to breathe properly. People who are stressed typically take a lot of shallow breaths, which can zap their energy. In order to give yourself a natural boost, take a long and deep breath through your nose. Hold it for a second or two, and then exhale slowly. Repeat this a few times during the course of the day, and you should find that your energy levels are remaining pretty constant and that you are more productive.
Alison Stanton has been a freelance writer for the past 14 years. Based in the Phoenix, Arizona area, Alison enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, but especially loves meeting interesting people and telling their stories.