People fast for various reasons. Some do it to observe a religious activity while others may choose to fast for health and dietary reasons. It’s not always easy to do it and go through your day as usual, especially if you’re just giving it a try. Unfortunately, whether you’re fasting or not, your day must go on as usual.
So here are 8 tips to help you stay productive while fasting.
#1. Plan out your day
Planning out your day may sound tedious but it can bring some structure and focus to your daily routine, which can help you stay productive.
Begin the morning by taking note of everything you’re planning to work on. Identify all the important tasks so you know which one to focus on. Then, start making a simple schedule. If possible, move the important tasks to a time frame where you are most productive such as in the morning when you’re more wakeful.
This helps you focus your energy wisely. If you find yourself unable to follow the schedule, take note of the reason why and keep it in my mind when planning your routine for the next day.
#2. Adjust your schedule accordingly
It’s normal to feel tired more easily when fasting, especially if you’re just starting out. After all, you’re still getting used to running on less energy than usual.
If you find yourself unable to focus for long during your fasting period, you might want to consider moving your sleeping and working time around.
When do you usually start to feel tired? Consider starting your day earlier so you can avoid crashing in the evening. You can also pass the time by taking naps later in the day as you wait to break your fast.
#3. Take a short nap in the afternoon
Feeling sluggish and tired? Even when you’re not fasting, it’s natural to feel drowsy after hours of work. A quick and efficient way to deal with this is by taking a 15 – 20 minute nap. While that may feel a bit short, a quick power nap can do wonders for your productivity.
According to sleep expert, Sara C. Mednick, PhD, a short nap can help reset your system and give you a burst of alertness. This boost of energy can help increase your productivity and motor performance. Since you’re not taking a lunch break anyway, why not take the time to step away from work and just lie down?
#4. Eat something before you start your fast
You need energy to stay productive — and the best way to stay energised throughout your fasting period is to make sure that you eat something before you start fasting. It doesn’t have to be a full meal. A simple snack is better than nothing at all. As long as it is something that can keep you adequately fulfilled and hydrated throughout the day, then you should be fine.
However, do remember to take note of what you’re eating. High protein food and whole grain is not only nutritious, but lasts longer. On the other hand, fatty and greasy food can lead to indigestion issues, which can put a hamper on your day.
#5. Avoid consuming coffee
Coffee is a popular choice for people who want a shot of energy. But if you’re fasting, it might not be a wise choice.
Coffee contains caffeine, a diuretic component that can affect your kidney and increase urination frequency. While you will need to consume a large amount of caffeine for it to significantly dehydrate you, it’s best to avoid it completely. You’re already running on low fluid during your fasting period. You don’t really need anything that can dehydrate you even more.
While we’re on the topic, you should probably avoid energy drinks too as they not only contain caffeine but also excessive amounts of sugar. You will probably do well to just stick with water.
#6. Take breaks in between tasks
No one expects you to work for 8 hours straight. If you find yourself feeling drained and sluggish, it’s time to step away for a bit. It doesn’t have to be a long break; just take a couple of minutes to yourself. Watch a funny YouTube video or idly scroll your social media.
If you feel drained from facing the screen and sitting in one place all day long, go for a short walk instead. Do some simple stretches, take a walk around your office building or have a chat with a coworker in the pantry.
However, be careful not to do anything too strenuous as that might tire you even more.
#7. Vary your tasks and study activities
Tired of working on the same thing for hours? Maybe you just need to work on something else to reset yourself.
For instance, if you find yourself numbed from hours of writing, take a short break and swap to another task instead. Perhaps you can revise a different subject, organise your study notes or do some research for another assignment.
It’s also crucial to schedule tasks that fit your energy level at different times of the day. You might want to do the cognitive tasks earlier while you leave the more administrative and easier ones for the evening. For this trick to work, make sure you know how to multitask effectively.
#8. Don’t look at your clock
The temptation to just sit back and count down to the minute until you can finish the day and eat is real — but it is definitely not productive.
Ever heard of the expression, “time flies when you’re having fun”? It’s the same thing vice versa. You’re already struggling with hunger pangs and the amount of studying and tasks you have to complete seem to be never ending; staring at the clock and seeing how slow it moves will only torture you more. It certainly won’t make time run faster, so just finish up what you can and before you know it, it’s already the end of the day.
Fasting is no excuse to laze around. Just make sure to remember these tips and you should be able to go through your day as usual. So, here’s wishing a productive fasting period.