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6 ways to get more done in your day

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Science says these are the best ways to stay energized.

woman walking away

The struggle is too real when there’s so much you want to get done and just not enough hours in the day to do it all. But with the right tricks—backed by science!—it’s possible to become more efficient, energized, and on your game. Ready to be your most productive self? Keep on reading. You’ll be blowing through your to-do list and checking off your goals in no time.

1. Ready, set, stretch

When’s the last time you got out of bed, raised your arms overhead, and indulged in a nice stretch? (That’s what we thought.) Stretching may be an afterthought both in exercise and daily life, but making time to warm up your body can have tangible perks. Doing it first thing in the morning can improve blood flow and decrease stress—and, of course, gets you out of bed and ready to tackle the day.

2. Snack smarter

You could dig into the communal bowl of candy at work, but that only sets you up for a sugar high (and subsequent crash). Instead, fuel yourself with low-glycemic foods (think: protein and fiber) to keep your blood sugar levels steady. You can also perk yourself up with an energizing boost like Emergen-C Nutrient Shot Energy+, which is crafted with vitamin C and B vitamins, as well as ginseng. And it offers a boost of natural caffeine from green tea and coffee fruit—enough to get through a mid-afternoon lull, but not so much that you can’t settle down and focus on your to-do list.

woman picking out clothes

3. Wear a uniform

Uniforms may seem like a terrible vestige from the third grade but if you hate having to think up what to wear every day, removing the option altogether can offer benefits for your brain. In one study, participants were forced to make choices in a series of experiments; researchers found that having to make decisions depleted the study subjects’ self-control. This meant they were more likely to give up on hard tasks and would gravitate toward procrastinating. If opening your closet and sifting through 30 shirts doesn’t excite you, take away the burden of choice: Having a go-to outfit may help spare your decision-making reserves.

4. Lace up your sneakers

We know, we know: The last thing you want to do in the morning is work out. But doing so can have a ripple effect throughout the rest of your day, since exercise can release endorphins (the feel-good hormone) and help you deal with stress. Plus, working out on the reg helps keep your thinking skills sharp, so you can operate at peak efficiency.

5. Have an adventure

Changing up your routine in some way, such as taking a new route to or from work, or trying a new lunch spot, can trigger a reaction of neurotransmitters in your brain. When you experience something novel, your brain releases dopamine, a chemical that’s linked to motivation and learning.

woman drinking water

6. Refill your water bottle

If you’re feeling cranky, tired, or generally out of it, think back—when’s the last time you drank some water? A study found that even mild dehydration (after not drinking water for a day) made women feel more fatigued. To make sure you’re drinking enough water, keep a reusable bottle at your desk and fill up often. Not only can it keep you sharp, but it’ll also give you an excuse to stretch your legs, too.