The dreaded mid-day slump is a real problem for many office workers, and the top three reasons include: warm work environment, not getting enough sleep the night before and large workloads, as reported by .
What’s the first thing you do when you feel it coming on? Head to the break room for a large cup of coffee, perhaps your third or fourth of the day, but that may not be what your body needs to power through the afternoon. That post-coffee high sets you up for a quick crash, ending right back where you started—unmotivated and tired.
This mental afternoon slowdown is part of your body’s natural circadian rhythm, according to , and there are many ways to combat it without putting more caffeine in your body. Here are three proven productivity boosters that you can use to kick that mid-afternoon slump once and for all.
Take a Brain Break
It may sound counter-productive, but one of the best things you can do to boost your productivity in the afternoon is to give your mind a much-needed break. You’ll feel more energized and ready to finish the day by simply stepping away from your work and clearing your mind.
To make your brain breaks most effective, consider doing something that’s still productive, yet relaxing, like meditating. Use an app like to find a short, guided meditation that will allow you to harness whatever energy you want to bring into your afternoon.
You could also listen to a few minutes of your favorite podcast, assuming the topic is unrelated to the work you’re doing or even find an empty conference room to do a short yoga flow. Try , created to restore and rejuvenate you while in the office.
Get Up and Move
One of the best ways to reenergize in the afternoon is to move around. Get up and walk around your office, or better yet, take it outside. boosts creativity, mood, and energy levels, allowing you to power through your afternoon slump more effectively. Finally, you can take it one step further and do a few exercises, like lunges down the hallway or squats in a private conference room, which will boost your productivity as well:
“Exercise also sends productivity-boosting hormones to the brain: serotonin, which improves mood; dopamine, which heightens attention; and norepinephrine, which affects attention, perception, and most importantly, motivation,” explains Deana Rosa with .
Not with coffee—with water. You may be surprised to learn that a fresh water bottle fill in the afternoon can boost your mood and energy level. Dehydration causes you to feel groggy and can even lead to headaches, both of which reduce your ability to be productive. When 2p.m. hits and you haven’t had enough water, you’ll be sure to feel that can’t-get-work-done feeling that slows down your afternoon.
This is especially problematic in offices, where the air tends to be dry. To avoid the mid-afternoon slump and boost your water intake, keep a BPA-free bottle with you, drinking regularly throughout the day. Set an alarm on your phone or create an on-going calendar notification to refill after lunch so you’re always ready to hydrate before the slump hits.
Beat the Mid-Day Slump
It’s natural to feel less productive in the afternoon, but it doesn’t have to slow you down. Use these tips to take back your day, and power through until the last email is sent. You’ll leave work feeling ready to relax and enjoy your evening knowing you got everything done.
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