Productivity and GTD

20 Ways to Handle the Afternoon Slump

AUTHOR: Warren Fowler
Afternoon slump

If you barely make it through the entire workday without taking a sleep break, you are not alone! Millions of workers around the world are dealing with that same problem every day. As the matter of fact, companies such as Uber or Google have already installed dedicated nap spaces in their headquarters, in hopes that some midday shuteye will boost employee productivity and creativity.

But what about all that misfortunate professionals who don’t work for Google or Uber? How can they cope with this small but rather inconvenient problem?

While there is no way to prevent the afternoon slump, there are many tricks you can use to get over it easier. In this post, we will show you 20 super-efficient tips to do that.

QUICK FIXES

Quick fixes can help you to get out of the midday crisis almost instantly. Take a look at some solutions below:

Exercise

There is no better way to regain strength and focus than physical exercise. It stimulates the blood flow and speeds up your internal engines, while is also good for your health.

Rest your eyes

Our brains and eyes are not used to receiving so much information every day. You are burdened with mobile phones, web browsing, instant messaging, and a variety of other activities that make you feel tired and sleepy. Resting your eyes for a few minutes enables you to recover and forget about that vicious midday nap.

Take a walk

It’s not easy to sit in your chair the whole day and concentrate on work without a pause. As time goes by, you feel more and more exhausted and it becomes extremely difficult not to fall asleep. When this happens, you should take a short walk through company premises or stretch out for a minute or two. It’s a simple workout but it does miracles against the afternoon slump.

Freshen up

Nothing can wake you up as quickly as cold water. It’s enough to splash it over your face and you’ll notice the wakeup effect immediately.

Make a coffee break

Taking a cup of coffee around noon is a nice ritual and also a great way to chase away your desire to take a nap. Its main ingredient, caffeine, breaks the circadian rhythm and keeps you awake for a few more hours – right until you go back home and fall asleep there.

Check out the office next door

Charles Haskell, a psychologist at UK Best Essays, recently made a statement: “If you spend a lot of time online talking to your colleagues, you should change the routine and visit the office next door. It’s a great way to socialize and to change your daily tempo”.

Have some lunch

Proteins are valuable energy sources, so you should grab a few bites to reload and prevent the afternoon slump. But you need to be careful because too much food will only slow you down and make you feel even more tired.

Do something else

You probably get stuck sometimes solving what seems to be the impossible problem. In such cases, you can switch tasks to get out of the hole and go back to the first problem later. It’s just a matter of productivity and self-management, so you can take advantage of online tools like FacileThings to improve efficiency.

This app is based on the so-called “Getting Things Done” methodology. The system establishes a work flow that allows you to easily and intuitively manage all the elements of your personal productivity. It can help you become more engaged, while it also successfully eliminates the afternoon slump.

Try taking a nap

On some occasions, the easiest thing to do is surrendering to the feeling and taking a quick nap. A short 10-minute break will probably be enough to get you going through the rest of the day.

Finish private tasks

Fighting a sleep instinct essentially revolves around changing your daily rhythm. This means that everyday things like changing car tires or taking your kids to soccer practice can break the monotony and save you from falling asleep at work.

Try taking a break

Most people have so much work to do that they forget about the good old lunch break. It’s your well-deserved pause and you should use it however you like to freshen up and go back to work not feeling drained out.

Take a bubblegum

Some quick fixes are simpler than others, but this one is by far the simplest. Take a bubblegum and you’ll occupy your mind with something else than the afternoon nap.

Turn on the radio

The Internet is full of music channels with all sorts of different genres. When you feel tired, you should turn on the radio and enjoy some cheerful melodies to keep you alert.

ALL-DAY ASSISTS

Besides quick fixes, there are also a few around the clock tactics that can make you a more dynamic employee. Here are 6 all-day assists to help you beat the afternoon slump:

Don’t skip breakfast…

If you don’t eat in the morning, you can’t expect to stay strong and focused throughout the day. A healthy breakfast is the first line of defense against the afternoon exhaustion.

…but you can skip lunch

If you are having serious problems with midday sleepiness, perhaps it’s because you eat more for lunch than breakfast. Heavy meals cause lower blood pressure and make you feel tired, so you might as well skip lunch rather than taking too much food.

Go easy with sugar

Sugar is an excellent short-term energy booster, but its effect will disappear quickly and leave you feeling even more tired.

Water is crucial

Drinking a lot of water is healthy because it keeps your body fresh. On the other hand, dehydration has a negative effect and maximizes the afternoon slump sensation.

Stand up

Working in the standing position will force you to engage physically and forget about falling asleep.

Don’t drink alcohol

You probably know what alcohol consumption does to your organism and how hard it is to cope with a hangover. It’s particularly awkward if you have to work the following day, so don’t drink alcohol if you have to go to work.

Have enough sleep

If you get enough sleep during the night, you probably won’t feel drained out as soon as you get up. Find a good sleeping rhythm and it will eliminate the desire for the midday nap.

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