We all know the feeling I am talking about. One minute you are high off the energy and break time you had at lunch, and the next you are crashed at your computer. Scientists don’t know what causes that dreaded 3 pm slump, but I am relatively confident that it affects all of us from time to time. So, how can we get out of this afternoon slump? How can we make the most of our time at work so that we don’t have to bring any of it home? Today we will be discussing some tips to help with that!
In the culture we live in today, many companies have stopped giving lunch breaks and encouraged employees to eat as they work. Though that might help you get out of the office earlier, it might be hurting your overall productivity. Our brain can only be focused on something for so long. And, when our mind needs a break, our work suffers. So, set designated breaks that you can take throughout your workday. And no, I am not talking about your bathroom breaks. Set aside five minutes to walk outside, stretch your legs, or think of something else. This will help you to feel refreshed during that afternoon slump.
Look Away From The Screen
Sometimes, you just need to detox from your screen. Take five minutes or so to sit back and look at something else. This could be reading a quick couple of pages of a book, or taking your brainstorming session to old-fashioned paper. Either way, your eyes, and mind will appreciate this much-needed change.
Eat A Snack
Maybe the reason you hit this afternoon slump is that your blood sugar is so low. Pack granola bars, nuts, fruit, or other healthy snacks in your work desk. That way, whenever you feel a slump coming on, you are ready to combat it with some tasty snacks.
Now, if you start drinking more coffee at 3 in the afternoon, you might be in for a long night. Instead, opt for a drink that won’t get you hopped up on excess caffeine. Any tea, hot or cold, is a great option. Try your best to stay away from energy drinks like five-hour energy or Monster, because they will end up doing more harm than good. And, you don’t want to gain weight from all the sugary ingredients that are inside most of those drinks.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but make sure you are sleeping plenty each night. The average adult needs around 7-9 hours of sleep a night, so try your best to log those hours in. You will be more refreshed to focus on your work, and not be so prone to getting sleepy.
Stand And Work
Many desks now have the feature where you can adjust if you want to work sitting or standing. If that is not the case for you, try to stand in your cubicle or office for a couple of minutes. Standing up will get that blood flowing to your brain and hopefully zap the tiredness right out of you.
Make A Slump Playlist
If you feel an afternoon slump coming on, turn up the beats. Maybe all you need to get reenergized is an energizing playlist with your favorite upbeat tunes. Just make sure that you don’t focus too much on your jams that you don’t get any work done.
Switch Between Tasks
The afternoon slump is usually the time that you are starting to get frustrated or annoyed with what you are doing at work. Why not try to switch it up? By focusing your brain in another direction, you will be more productive. Not to mention, it can be hard to work on something efficiently if you are stuck on the problem. This time away from your work problem might give your brain the chance to come up with a solution.
Process It Out Loud
Sometimes it helps just to get your frustrations out or ask another co-worker’s opinion. Take some time to brainstorm together to find solutions, or just chat. Talking to someone might be the solution to your problem, and give your mind an opportunity to let your attention wander away from work. And if you can’t find someone to talk to, maybe just talking out loud to yourself can help. This might give you the chance to process the information in a new way, and can be particularly helpful if you are an auditory learner. Just make sure that people can’t see you talking to yourself.
Give Yourself A Break
Don’t sweat it if you do find yourself falling into the afternoon slump. It can happen to the best of us, but hopefully, the tips above can help you to combat it. But, realize that some days are going to be more productive than others. Also, try to figure out the environments and ways that you work best, and try to do those every day.
I hope that as three’o’clock rolls around today, you find yourself prepared. You can get through this afternoon slump, and pretty soon, it will be the weekend.
For overcoming making a mistake at work, check out our article here.