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Beat The Afternoon Slump

30 March 2022

That feeling is familiar to all office workers. You've reached 3 pm and have had a really productive morning, but you just can't seem to find the energy or motivation to keep on top of your afternoon schedule. Even an extra-strong cup of coffee hasn't got you motivated and raring to go. Each minute seems to be stretching out into an hour - this is going to be a long afternoon. You could just do with a quick nap to refresh yourself. Unfortunately, falling asleep on our desk would be frowned upon. So how do you fight through the slump and make your afternoon as productive and successful as your morning was?

Here are a few tips to help you beat the afternoon slump.

1. Hydrate Yourself

Many of us fail to drink enough water throughout the day. Dehydration can massively impact our focus and energy levels, affect our mood and lead to headaches. Make sure you have a glass or bottle of water at your desk and keep taking sips from it regularly. If you need to, you could always set a reminder on your phone or smartwatch to prompt you!

2. Talk While You Walk 

Have you ever tried holding a walking meeting? It may sound a little strange and feel a little awkward to start with, but it can really help to wake you up and get you and your colleagues focused on the task at hand. As an added bonus, you will be getting some extra steps in, so there is less pressure to exercise after you finish work. If your meeting only involves a small number of colleagues, try conducting it while you take a short work in the fresh air, you will be pleasantly surprised!

3. Do Some Exercise

Following on from the last point, exercise is key to keeping you feeling motivated and refreshed in the afternoon. It doesn’t matter what exercise you do, as long as you get moving and get your blood pumping around your body. If you have the opportunity, grab a coffee and go for a quick walk, if it is raining you can always take a walk up a few flights of stairs to get your heart rate up. If there is a gym nearby you could try out a new exercise class during your lunch break, and maybe invite a few work colleagues along too! If you find that you dont have the opportunity to leave your desk, try doing a few stretches or squats at your desk - every little bit of movement helps!

4. Train Your Brain

It is easy for your brain to start to power down as the afternoon drags on. You are tired, your head is feeling foggy and you are struggling to understand and process what you are reading. Does this sound familiar? Somehow you need to find a way to wake up your brain and get it in gear so that you can go ahead and smash the afternoon! There are plenty of brain-boosting activities that you can try from the comfort of your desk, such as online puzzles, sudoku, or a bit of reading. You may also find that some meditation or breathing exercises help to calm and clear your head - there are plenty of apps to help you with this.

5. Reach For An Energy-Boosting Snack

When the afternoon hunger pangs strike and you are feeling sluggish, it is natural to want to reach for a sugary snack. Nutritious snacks will provide you with the energy to make it through the afternoon and are much better for your waistline! Try keeping some fresh fruit and nuts in your desk drawer to snack on when hunger strikes.

6. Listen To Music

Music has a fantastic way of directly connecting with our emotions, making us feel happy, sad, energetic, or tired depending on what we are listening to. The right music can really help to get you motivated and focused while at work. You could make a specific afternoon playlist, full of uplifting and energetic tunes.

7. Collaborate

Working with others is a sure-fire way to boost your energy and focus. Rather than spending the afternoon trawling through your emails or reading documents, schedule some collaborative work. By bouncing ideas off your colleagues, you will foster creativity and make sure your brain stays alert.

8. Tap Into Your Senses

By awakening your senses, you can energize your body and brain. Chewing some minty chewing gum while performing tedious and repetitive tasks, such as answering emails, can prevent your mind from wandering. Energising essential oils such as peppermint, rosemary and lime can have a similar effect. Invest in a bottle of your favourite scent and keep this in your desk drawer. When you feel your attention slipping, grab it, place a few drops in your hand, rub them together and inhale the uplifting scent.

Final Thought

Afternoon sluggishness may be annoying, but the good news is it is entirely preventable. Pay attention to your energy levels throughout the course of the day, and be ready to implement some of these effective strategies as your mind starts to tire.