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As an IT consulting firm engineer, your job includes talking on the phone for hours, fixing software bugs, backing up data, and much more. No one knows the “after-lunch” slump like you do. So how do you get through the rest of the day without reaching for that fourth cup of coffee? We’ve read the articles and magazines suggesting to run miles during lunch or drink juiced kale, beetroots and whatever else in the morning. But what about us IT consulting professionals who have other things to do than spend hours in Whole Foods after work and washing our gym clothes every night.
So here’s some tips for the real person you are tailored to your position.
1.) Don’t Snooze- Believe it or not, your body really doesn’t need that extra 10 minutes you snoozed this morning. When I realized this it made my life that much better. Getting up on the first alarm is motivating and I am actually happier when I get up. There’s something about wanting to get out of bed that makes your day a whole lot better. Don’t worry, after a week or two you’ll never want to snooze again.
2.) Eat Breakfast- This was hard for me in the mornings, because like most of us, I’m not really that hungry in the morning and don’t feel like preparing a course at the crack of dawn. The trick to breakfast is protein. This is because protein is going to give you energy during the day. Skip the buttered toast and coffee. Go for a quick protein shake and snag a piece of fruit for the car. You can trade the shake for a bar if you want but make sure there aren’t many other unhealthy additives. If you have a little bit more time, make some scrambled egg whites and throw your leftovers in the pan with them. Egg whites are pretty much pure protein- the center provides the fats and the cholesterol. Grab the leftover veggies you cooked last night or some kind of meat. Egg whites cook fast. This will only take about 3 minutes- and it’s good for kids too. Also, skip the sausage and bacon. You’ll be able to last longer during the day if you’re not bogged down with all the fat in regular sausage and bacon.
3.) Eat nuts- Getting a little tired at 11 AM? Don’t grab a coffee filled with milk and sugar. It will digest quickly and only be a temporary fix. That is a signal for an afternoon crash. Here’s a tip- if you’re a Costco member, go to the nut isle. There are gallon bags of these things. Look for ones that are mostly nuts, and less dried fruit and candy. Here at Precision, we buy a bunch of these for our engineers to snack on. It will last you 6 months of snacking and it’s much better than getting another bag of chips from the vending machine to hold you over until lunch. For you help desk engineers, do this in between calls though, you don’t want to be crunching in a client’s ear!
5.) Stand up more- As an IT consulting firm engineer, when you’re on the phone with a client or vendor, walk around. Get up and talk to people in the office instead of IM-ing them. Make sure your whole lunch break doesn’t consist of sitting at your desk shoving food down and reading Tech Crunch at the same time. Got ten minutes? Take a walk around the block. Seeing natural light and breathing fresh air wakes up your body.
6.) Stretch- Every hour, make sure you’re moving your body. Stretch out your arms, turn your body and clench and release your muscles. It will make you more alert.
7.) Revamp your coffee- Caffeine makes your skin worse by dehydrating your body. If you must drink coffee (our IT consulting engineers just can’t get enough of it) , use a lighter milk like 2% or skim so it doesn’t weigh you down. Try to use natural brown sugar, not artificial sweetener since those are linked to headaches. Real sugar is easier to digest for your body. If you drink tea, honey is a good alternative to other sweeteners.
Not every IT consulting professional is up fixing computers during the day. There is more virtual work that involves sitting at a desk all day. No one knows the loss of energy on the job as much as you do. If you try to do at least 2 of these seven things in the next month, I bet you’ll notice a difference. I did.
By Danielle LeRose