It’s 2pm, you had a big lunch and that last coffee did nothing to increase your energy or motivation. Deadlines are looming, work needs to be completed but if it’s done in a half-baked fashion, the client will be furious and throw sharp things at you. There’s must be a way to pull yourself out of this slump without resorting to class A drugs or electro-shock therapy.

Here are 5 simple productivity and energy hacks that can give you more energy, legally –

  1. Tea.

Stay with me here. I’m a big coffee drinker and we’ll get to that in a minute, but our old friend tea is more than just an ideal partner for scones and raspberry jam. Where coffee’s comparably high caffeine levels give you a dramatic ‘surge,’ tea, thanks to the amino acid L-Theanine, gives a ‘smooth rush’ that doesn’t lead to the dramatic highs and lows associated with coffee.

2. Bulletproof Coffee

Actually I’m not allowed to call it that due to copyright issues. But coffee and butter has been a staple of Silicon Valley for the last few years thanks to the ‘Bulletproof Executive’ David Asprey, who discovered this powerful combo after a trip to the Himalayas where sherpas gave him coffee mixed with yak milk. So he didn’t discover anything, full credit to the sherpas. Anyway, I’ve been trying this for the last few weeks – and it works, for me anyway. I was sceptical (to say the least) however, I have more energy, eat less and don’t get the same mid-afternoon slump I used to. To make butter coffee, make your coffee, put in a tablespoon of organic butter and blend. Easy.

3. Tomato Timer

The Pomodoro Technique, created by Francesco Cirillo in the 80’s, encourages focused effort on a specific task for 25 minutes followed by a short break of 3-4 minutes with longer breaks when your concentration lapses. It’s incredible what a bit of focus can do and you can download apps that will stick a cute little tomato on your screen or just use your watch.

4. Brain Dump

Distractions are an energy sucker. If you’re doing something and can’t get other things out of your head, use the brain dump technique. Walk away from your work with a piece of paper and a pen and write everything down that comes into your head for a full 3 minutes, don’t stop writing and if you can’t think of anything, write ‘I can’t think of anything.’ This allows not only your conscious, but also your subconscious thoughts to get spilled onto the page. This isn’t a list but it will likely bring you clarity as to what you’re thinking and enable you to reprioritise your thoughts on purpose, rather than just reacting to them with overwhelm.

5. Take It Outside

Exposure to the sun will increase your serotonin levels, the chemical that literally makes you happy. It will also up your melatonin, a shortage of which requires you to sleep more, which is why we sleep less in summer than we do in winter. Also as an added bonus, you’re outside.