BEATING THE AFTERNOON URGE TO SNOOZE!
The last month or so the 3pm afternoon slump has really been getting to me. Not only that but when you work from home it's extremely hard not to give in to it and start to procrastinate, even feel tempted to have a little snooze - I know bad! All things I could never do when I worked in an office, but now more than ever the struggle to fight the flagging and stay motivated is real people!
So I'm looking for inspiration to beat that annoying mid-afternoon fatigue and whilst I've come up with a few suggestions that I'm going to share below, I'm also interested to know if this is something that affects you and how you deal with it?
Firstly to a few tricks that I've personally been trying and that might help anyone with a similar mid-afternoon melancholy like me!
THREE WAYS TO BEAT THE MID-AFTERNOON BLUES
1. MANAGE THE MIND: It's important to be mindful of how you organise your day. This kind of reflects back to last weeks post about the benefits of single-tasking. The more I get into focusing on one thing at a time the better the afternoon tends to be. I aim to put the most challenging or urgent tasks on my to do list at a point in the day when I know I'm going to be most productive, and making sure that I actually focus on each item individually is certainly beneficial.
Actually for me I'm able to work around this quite flexibly thanks to working from home although I still think it's important to try and establish some sort of routine. When I was office based I would definitely try to get as much off of my to do list as possible first thing and leave the afternoon for slightly less thought inducing or heavy tasks. The afternoon is often a good point at which to tackle emails or do something fairly mindless like clearing, de-cluttering or organising. Meetings tend to be better scheduled in the morning when you're fresh and full of energy. Of course this isn't always possible and that's when some of the following points may come in very useful.
2. FEED YOUR BODY THE RIGHT WAY: Nutrition is definitely extremely key when it comes to beating those afternoon energy blues. We all know what it's like to crave that caffeine and sugar hit around 2 or 3pm and all too often we fall into the trap of letting ourselves do so. Re-thinking what you put into your body can really help. I don't get this right everyday, but on the days that I do I notice the difference. So here are some key things to think about, to help get beyond the afternoon hump without your usual fix.
- Don't skip your breakfast: We all know this is vital but how many of you still skip the most important meal of the day? Choosing the right breakfast and making sure you actually eat it will drastically help maintain energy levels well into the afternoon. Looking for some inspiration? Check out these 10 Easy & Satisfying Desk Breakfasts To Start Your Day via www.thekitchn.com
- Eat a lighter lunch: Sedentary desk jobs require the right kind of office lunch. More protein and less carbs plus smaller portions to avoid that drowsy over-eaten feeling in the afternoon. Pick your lunch wisely and you'll soon feel the benefits. Happy, healthy lunches needn't be boring though, try these Best Lunches For Sedentary Jobs via Huffpost Lifestyle.
- Keep yourself hydrated: Most of us need to drink more water. That's really all there is to it! Keep a bottle by your side and keep on sipping away. Hydration is so important for productivity and for keeping yourself alert. If plain old water bores you then try my simple fruit water combinations to liven it up instead!
- Reach for the right kind of desk-side snack: Things like oranges or a little bit of dark chocolate can help to increase focus and energy levels. However one of the best snacks for this time of day is nuts. Just go nutty and mix it up with these snacking smarter nutty combinations that will perk up your tastebuds as well as enliven the rest of your day.
3. TURN AWAY FROM THAT SCREEN AND GET UP AND MOVE: We get so stuck in our seats staring at that screen. Just tapping away at one last email, or just finishing one last report. When I worked in an office it often took my colleagues to pull me away some afternoons just to take a few minutes break. I'd just get so focused that I'd barely even breathe much less take a moment to reboot!
Focus is great and all but so is looking after your long term health in the workplace. So take a moment, stand up, stretch it out. Maybe take a stroll along the corridor and catch up with a colleague for a few minutes. Walk up the stairs, get some air or sit and read the paper in your office kitchen or breakout area for a little respite from the computer screen. Short breaks are important and whilst of course you need to get your work done, you also need to step away at regular intervals and wake up the mind and the body. So get up and move - those emails will still be there when you get back!
So what do you do to beat the mid-afternoon slump? Is it something that affects you? Do you have any tips to combat it?
Let me know what you suggest and have a great Friday everyone.