I recently shared an article on Facebook about how flexible work hours are changing the average American employee’s workday.
Some businesses are catching on that they’ll have happier, more productive employees if you give them the autonomy to choose their start times.
For instance, an early bird might benefit from starting her day at 7:00 am (like I used to in my book editor days), while a night owl knows she’ll get more done if she can stroll in at 10:00 am.
Flexible business hours are a kickass idea because you can honor your natural body rhythms and work on your highest priorities when you’re most focused. For me, that’s around 8:00 am…and after 2 cups of tea.
But regardless of when you sit down at your desk, hop in the car, stand at your station, or wherever your workspace is, you’re eventually going to feel your energy dip.
The dreaded afternoon energy slump could appear at 2:00, or 3:00, or 4:00, but whenever it happens, you’ll be fighting to keep your eyes open. Sooo sleepy….
And if you don’t work in one of those ultra modern Japanese offices with space-aged sleeping pods, you’d better perk up before your boss fires you.
Never fear, Life Editor! I’ve got the solution. No caffeine needed.
10 Ways to Get Over the Afternoon Energy Slump
- Frontload Your Day. Eat that frog and do your most important or most dreaded tasks first thing in the morning. Then it’ll be OK if you fall into a zombie-like state after lunch.
- Swap a Bad Habit. If you normally try to drown your sleepiness in Diet Coke, try swapping it out for a better alternative like doing 10 jumping jacks. If people give you weird looks, tell ‘em you’re rebooting your brain.
- Go for a Walk. I used to do this every day back in my old corporate life. I mapped out a 1-mile path that started at the front of the building and looped all the way back. I made sure to walk by my favorite stores on Michigan Avenue too. Nothing like window shopping to wake up your senses.
- Recite an Affirmation. Try something like, “I have endless energy and stamina.” Or maybe “Just 2 more hours. Just 2 more hours.”
- Write in Your Aspiration Journal. An energy slump might be triggered by boredom. Take a few minutes to write about your ideal life and what your day would look like if everything were working. You might be inspired to make some changes.
- Eat Well All Day. If you get sleepy after lunch, try swapping your usual sandwich or pasta for a salad loaded with all your favorite veggies. White carbs and sugar will drain you fast, so use your lunch as fuel!
- Stretch. Stand up from your desk already! I set my Jawbone Up24 to buzz me if I haven’t taken a step in the last hour. Reach up and get the blood flowing through your veins.
- Meditate. To-do list stressing you out? Take a moment of Zen and meditate. It doesn’t need to be some complicated routine. Just sitting and smiling has benefits.
- Play a Game. How about injecting some play into your workday? Try to answer as many emails as you can in 10 minutes. Can you get to inbox zero by the end of the day? If you’re really inventive, keep track of odd things that happen in the office. 10 points whenever someone says, “TPS report.”
- Call an Accountability Buddy. Sometimes it helps just to know you’re not alone. Call your best friend if you’re in corporate or another business owner if you’re an entrepreneur. Keep each other accountable by sharing what you accomplished yesterday, what your goals are for today, and how they can support you.
Do you feel an energy slump in the afternoon?
In the comments below, share your best tips for feeling awake and motivated.
This post focuses on Step 3 of the Life Editing Process, Add Good Habits and Routines. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.