How to Avoid the Afternoon Slump

You there. Yes, you. The one with the droopy eyelids. You have that 3:00 p.m. feeling and it’s zapping you of any motivation despite the fact that you have two or three hours before you can pack up and leave for the day. You’re right in the middle of an afternoon slump and if you don’t snap out of it soon, someone is bound to walk by and catch you drooling, or worse, snoring.

It’s almost as if your get-up-and-go left for the day without you.

Why are you so tired in the afternoon?

We’ve all been in the mid-afternoon zone; slumped over our desks, staring at our inboxes or spreadsheets until the words, letters, and numbers blend together. We’re fighting back yawns, unable to focus on the task in front of us.

The time between 2-4 p.m. easily feels like the longest part of the day. Thanks in part to our circadian rhythm and our homeostatic system fighting for center stage, the afternoon slump is something we’ve all experienced.

Don’t grab the toothpicks to hold your eyes open just yet, but don’t given in either because we’ve got tips to help you breeze through your afternoon.

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Tips to Keep From Being Tired in the Afternoon

Skip the carbs at lunch

We know pasta salad, pizza, and sandwiches sound good but carbohydrate-heavy foods for lunch are a bad idea. They may provide a quick energy boost but it won’t be long before a carb coma, is calling you. Opt for a protein-rich lunch, like a green leafy salad with diced turkey and hard-boiled egg to prevent postprandial somnolence AKA a food coma.

Switch tasks

If you’ve been staring at your email and getting nowhere or can’t manage to finish
a reply to Javier in Accounting, it’s time to change tasks. This is especially important if you’ve been sitting in front of your computer for a long period of time. Return some phone calls or clean off your desk and then return to your inbox with a more focused mind.

Don’t be a binge sitter

The LeanRite standing chair lets you transition from a lean to a perch to a sitting or standing position without interrupting your workflow. The change in position refreshes and refocuses. If that’s not enough, you can also stretch or take a little walk around the office.

Exercise your brain

If you feel like you can’t read one more report without your eyes glazing over or you find yourself rereading the same paragraph for the fifth time, take a mental break.

A quick turn or two of Words with Friends, or a few minutes with a crossword puzzle or that grown-up coloring book hiding in the back drawer of your desk could be exactly what you need to jump-start your brain.

Take a break

We’ve told you this before and we’re going to say it again: your body needs to move throughout the day. It’s not enough to take a bathroom break. Instead, go outside and breathe in fresh air. Even just a few minutes outside on a cloudy day is better than nine hours of fluorescent cubicle lights.

Although it’s common to be tired in the afternoon, with a few simply changes you can climb your way out of the mid-day slump and be more productive than ever.