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Beating Jet Lag: Mental Strategies for Peak Performance at Work

Dealing with Jet Lag at Work: Tips and Effects

We’ve all experienced the draining effects of jet lag – the feeling of exhaustion, disorientation, and irritability that comes after a long-haul flight. As a result, it’s not uncommon to struggle to focus at work, leading to decreased performance and a range of other negative outcomes.

In this article, we’ll explore the causes of jet lag and provide tips for overcoming the symptoms, as well as the effects of jet lag in the workplace. What causes jet lag?

At its core, jet lag is caused by a misaligned circadian rhythm – your body’s internal clock that regulates sleep, wakefulness, and other bodily functions. When you travel across time zones, your circadian rhythm is disrupted, leading to a host of physical and mental symptoms.

One major factor that affects circadian rhythm is exposure to light. In particular, exposure to sunlight or artificial light helps to regulate sleep patterns and alertness.

When you fly to a new time zone, you may be exposed to more or less light than your body is used to, which can wreak havoc on your internal clock. Another factor is the strain of travel itself.

Sitting for extended periods on a plane can lead to dehydration, muscle aches, and other physical discomforts that can compound the effects of jet lag.

Tips for Overcoming Jet Lag at Work

1. Keep Moving

One of the best ways to combat jet lag is to keep your body moving.

When you land at your destination, take a brisk walk to get your blood flowing and to combat stiffness from travel. Engaging in light physical activity can help regulate your circadian rhythm and make it easier to adjust to a new time zone.

2. Stay Icy

Another way to stay alert is by staying cold.

Splash some cold water on your face or sit in an air-conditioned room to keep your body temperature down. The coldness can help you stay alert and focused, even if your mind is still adjusting to the new time zone.

3. Choose Citrus

Try starting your day with a cup of hot water with fresh lemon in it.

The natural zing of citrus can help wake you up and improve digestion. This kind of healthy beverage in the morning can help combat the grogginess and digestive sluggishness that often comes with jet lag.

4. Engage in Meetings

Actively participating in meetings and conversations can also help trigger your adrenaline and keep you energized throughout the day.

Give yourself permission to be an active participant in discussion, this will help you remain alert and engaged. 5.

Don’t Watch the Clock

It’s essential to avoid constantly checking the time. Watching the clock can often lead to distraction and stress, ultimately leading you to feel more tired and less engaged with your work.

Try and stay present in the moment and focus on the work at hand. 6.

Adopt a Positive Mindset

Finally, adopt a positive attitude towards jet lag. This is often referred to as “mind over matter.” While it may be a challenge to adjust to a new time zone, try to frame it as an opportunity to explore a new environment and learn from new experiences.

Effects of Jet Lag at Work

1. Decreased Performance

Perhaps the most obvious effect of jet lag at work is decreased performance.

When you’re feeling groggy and tired, it can be difficult to concentrate, complete tasks effectively, and maintain peak performance levels. This not only affects your performance but also the productivity of the entire team.

2. Employer’s Expectations

Employers expect their employees to perform their job duties effectively and efficiently.

If jet lag is affecting your work productivity, it can put a strain on your boss and damage your professional reputation. It’s important to take measures against jet lag to ensure you meet your employer’s expectations.


In this article, we’ve discussed the causes and effects of jet lag and provided several tips for mitigating its symptoms and remaining alert at work. By taking a proactive approach, you can beat jet lag and maintain productivity during a business trip.

Remember to keep moving, keep your body temperature down, engage in meetings and keep an open mindset while at work, and avoid watching the clock to alleviate some of the stressful effects of jet lag.

Negative Effects of Traditional Energy Boosters

When it comes to energy boosters, many of us turn to quick fixes such as Red Bull or espresso shots. While these may provide a temporary caffeine high, they may also trigger a crash soon after, leading to negative effects such as headaches, anxiety, and insomnia.

Let’s take a closer look at the negative effects of traditional energy boosters. 1.

Temporary Caffeine High and Crash

One of the primary ingredients in popular energy drinks and coffee shots is caffeine. Caffeine is known to provide a temporary boost in energy and alertness, but the effects are often fleeting.

After a few hours, the caffeine wears off, leading to an energy slump that makes it difficult to focus or concentrate. Moreover, excessive caffeine consumption can lead to several negative effects, including restlessness, tremors, and headaches.

It can also interfere with your sleep cycle, leading to insomnia, which can have a cascading effect on your health. 2.

Afternoon Drop-Off

Many office workers suffer from an afternoon energy slump known as “post-lunch dip,” which is marked by fatigue, decreased focus, and lack of motivation. This often results from consuming a heavy lunch that leads to the body focusing more on digestion than brain function.

Energy drinks, caffeine shots, and other traditional energy boosters usually fail to alleviate this condition, leaving you feeling drained and lethargic. 3.

Lingering Toxins

Traditional energy boosters often contain artificial sweeteners, food colorings, and other chemicals that can leave harmful toxins in the body. While the liver and other organs can process and eliminate these toxins from the body, excessive consumption can overwhelm the body’s natural processes.

This can lead to a range of negative health effects, such as liver damage, heart disease, and even cancer.

Importance of Physical Movement

In addition to avoiding traditional energy boosters, there are many other ways to maintain optimal energy levels throughout the workday. Physical movement is perhaps the most effective way to keep your energy levels up and combat fatigue.

Here are some reasons why physical movement is essential to your performance at work:

1. Blood Flow

Engaging in physical activity increases blood flow, which can provide more oxygen and nutrients to the brain, reducing fatigue and improving cognitive performance.

A brisk walk or cycling for ten minutes can help release physical tension and help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Regular stretching and tension-release exercises can also help maintain energy levels throughout the day while increasing circulation and reducing the risk of fatigue.

2. Desk-Bound Solutions

Besides walking around and stretching your legs, there are several desk-bound solutions to keep your energy levels up while combating lethargy.

One such solution is to engage in core exercises throughout the day, such as crunches, planks, and leg raises. This can be done without leaving your work chair and provides an effective way to stay alert and focused.

In addition, you can incorporate yoga stretches at your desk, releasing physical tension and aligning your body for improved blood circulation and energy.


The negative effects of traditional energy boosters are diverse and far-reaching. To stay alert and energized throughout the day, it is beneficial to avoid these quick fixes and instead engage in regular physical activity and tension-release exercises.

By doing so, you can boost your overall health, increase productivity levels, and avoid negative physical and mental health effects.

Mental Strategies for Overcoming Jet Lag

Jet lag is a physical and mental phenomenon that can make it challenging to stay alert and focused at work. While many physical strategies can help mitigate the symptoms of jet lag, mental strategies can also be invaluable in maintaining optimal productivity levels.

Here are some mental strategies for overcoming jet lag:

1. Focus on the Present

One of the most challenging aspects of jet lag is adjusting to a new time zone.

It’s easy to get caught up in the new time, constantly checking the clock and becoming more stressed and agitated as the day progresses. One mental strategy for overcoming jet lag is to remain present and focus on the task at hand.

This helps to minimize distractions and improve focus, even if your mind and body are not quite in sync with the new time zone. Instead of anxiously examining and wondering what time it is in your home town or city, concentrate fully on the job at hand and see how quickly time goes by.

2. Mind Over Matter

Jet lag can be a test of mental endurance, with fatigue and disorientation setting in at the most inconvenient times.

Adopting a positive attitude and telling yourself that you feel fine can be one of the greatest mental strategies for overcoming jet lag. While this may seem like a self-delusion, the power of positive thought cannot be underestimated.

By thinking positively, you can alter your brain chemistry to produce the feel-good hormones such as serotonin, which can help keep your mood buoyant throughout the day. 3.

Avoiding Fatigue

Another challenge of jet lag is beating lethargy and staying alert throughout the day. This can be challenging when you’re feeling fatigued, groggy, and unenergetic.

One mental strategy for overcoming jet lag includes staying perky throughout the day. This strategy may involve finding things you enjoy doing to keep your mind and body engaged, taking short breaks to refresh your mind and spirit, and boosting your energy levels with healthy snacks and meals.

Studies suggest that taking short and frequent breaks can help improve focus and reduce mental fatigue. In conclusion, maintaining a positive mental attitude and staying present in the moment can be invaluable when dealing with jet lag.

Combining these strategies with physical ones like regular exercise and healthy eating can help improve your overall mood, health, and productivity levels, making the best of your travel experience. In conclusion, jet lag can significantly impact our productivity and well-being at work.

While physical strategies such as staying active and avoiding traditional energy boosters are crucial, mental strategies play an equally important role. By focusing on the present, adopting a positive mindset, and combating fatigue, we can overcome the challenges of jet lag and maintain optimal performance.

Remember, a positive mental attitude coupled with physical activity can lead to increased productivity and overall well-being while traveling. By implementing these strategies, you can make the most of your business trips and leave a lasting impression.

Safe travels and stay productive!

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