During Ramadan, the focus is on the spiritual aspects of our day-to-day lives. Although work hours across the Middle East are adjusted so that employees can focus on fasting and prayer, the rigours of the Holy Month can take a toll on office productivity. According to a report on BBC “The productivity of workers declines by 35-50% as a result of shorter working hours and the change in behaviour during this month.” Headaches, tiredness and difficulty concentrating are some of the common symptoms affecting people and impacting work output.
So how do you ensure that you stay satisfactorily productive during Ramadan? Here are some tips:
Stick to a healthy dietThe temptation to reach for treats is strong after fasting but giving in can be detrimental. A balanced diet is the key a healthy and energetic Ramadan. Include adequate amounts of whole grains, proteins and vegetables during suhoor and iftar. Avoid processed and junk food—the glucose spikes and crashes they trigger only lead to more fatigue—and drink adequate water to stay hydrated.
Start an exercise regimenPhysical activity releases endorphins in the body and lifts the mood. A workout plan is pivotal to helping you stay energetic and motivated during what is clearly a challenging month. But avoid heavy exercises like running and weight training and opt for light physical activity like Pilates, cycling and stretching. Limit your workouts to a maximum of 60 minutes.
Make listsThe work week may be shorter, but the work load remains the same. To get a lot done in limited time, you need to plan properly. Be certain about what you need to accomplish each day and stay laser-focused on achieving it. There’s a tendency for the mind to wander when tired so a clear view of your goals helps you stay on track. Make your goal list for the day and break down large tasks into manageable, measurable components. Slot the crucial tasks for the morning when you are at your most active.
Just do itResearch by Dr John A. Bargh et al in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that the brain tends to divert itself to more mundane matters just when you’re beginning an important task. If you’ve observed yourself checking your Facebook feed when you should really be starting on an important work activity, this is the reason. The result is procrastination and anxiety. The best way to motivate yourself when you’re exhausted is to just begin. The momentum makes completion easier once you’re over that initial hump.
Change your locationStruggling to get something done? You’ll be surprised at what a change of location can do. If you’re finding it hard to focus on a task while sitting at your desk, try moving to an empty conference or meeting room with fewer distractions. Choose specific locations for specific tasks; this tends to improve focus since the brain associates different places with different activities.
While some drop in productivity is expected during Ramadan, a drastic fall in output could be detrimental to your career. These tips will help you navigate the workspace smoothly during the Holy Month by ensuring that you remain satisfactorily productive. Go ahead and try them out!