We’ve all been there. The afternoon rolls around. You’re trying to get things done, but your mind and body just won’t cooperate.
You’re tired. You’re restless. And you just can’t focus.
We like to call that the afternoon slump. It’s when you’ve been working steadily all day long, but you’re not quite sure if you can push through the last couple hours of your workday.
It’s a major problem for employees everywhere. How can you avoid it? Here are just a few ideas to try.
Be Mindful at Lunch
Making healthy lunch choices can fend off the afternoon slump before it strikes. Choose fresh, energizing foods. Try to avoid sugary or greasy foods that make you feel sluggish and cause an energy crash later.
Get Up and Move
A short exercise break can be an awesome energy-booster. You don’t need to head to boot camp, either! Your exercise break can be as simple as a ten-minute stroll around the office, a short yoga session or some desk exercises.
Refresh with Some Water
A nice, cold glass of water can give you as much of an energy boost as an ice-cold soda—without the health risks. Staying hydrated is also a way to make sure your body is functioning to its full potential. Your body craves water and can get out-of-whack without it, so stay hydrated.
Stand While You Work
Standing while you work can be one of the best ways to keep your focus when you’re tired. It can also help you avoid feeling sleepy or even nodding off. You don’t even have to invest in a fancy standing desk to stand while you work. Boxes, shelves and high-top tables will do.
Drink Some Tea
Tea (hot or cold) is an excellent afternoon drink choice. Aside from the little kick of caffeine, tea comes with some excellent health benefits. Make sure you’re drinking real tea, though, and not sugar and syrup with a couple of tea leaves thrown in.
Chat with Coworkers
Sometime, the best way to focus is to not focus. Take a little break. Get your mind off things and step away. When you come back, you’ll be re-energized and ready to work. The afternoon slump is a perfect time to check in with a coworker or office neighbor and see how their day has been.
Enjoy a Healthy Snack
If you’re feeling tired and sluggish in the afternoon, your body might just need to re-fuel. If that’s the case, a healthy snack is the way to go! A handful of nuts, fruit or even sliced veggies are a great option for a slump-fighting snack.
Make a Playlist
Music can be a productivity booster—when used correctly. Consider making a playlist to listen to throughout the afternoon to help you focus. A few things to keep in mind: sounds of nature help to calm the mind, words and lyrics can be distracting but instrumental music boosts focus, and songs you enjoy or know well help mundane tasks fly by more quickly.
If you find yourself feeling tired, sluggish or distracted in the afternoon, you’re not alone. There’s nothing wrong with you, and you’re not a bad employee for it. It’s just that point in the day when your energy has been drained and you need a little boost.
Be intentional about how you fight the afternoon slump and stay productive all day long. What other methods do you use to fight your afternoon fatigue? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!