Why You Need a Before Lunch List

When I was in college, the other students used to complain about 8:00 am classes, but not me.

I loved those early morning sessions!

I felt so energized watching the sunrise on my way to class, soy latte in one hand. I seemed to get better grades in my morning classes than those that fell after lunch.

I remember the professor for one of my afternoon classes making all the students stand up and do 2 laps around the lecture hall because we were falling asleep in our chairs.

Now that I’m an adult and I run my own business, my mornings start much earlier than 8:00 am, but while I’ve been able to adjust to an earlier wakeup time, I still struggle with the afternoon energy slump.

When my belly’s full from lunch and my morning caffeine jolt feels like a distant memory, all I want to do is take a nap.

OK, so I work from home and can take a nap any time I want, but that’s not feasible if you work in an office or if you simply have too many projects that need to get done.

So what are you supposed to do? Set up a napping cot in your cubicle? Skip lunch altogether?

We’ve all heard suggestions like taking a walk outside or doing stretches at your desk to re-energize yourself. Those are great ideas for when you’re already crashing, but I’ve changed the way I prioritize my tasks so it doesn’t matter if I get sleepy around 2:00 pm.

Every morning I create a Before Lunch List of the 2 or 3 highest priority items that absolutely, positively must get done that day.

My master to-do list is a mile long, but I can always pinpoint a couple tasks that are more urgent than the others. I focus all my energy on completing these tasks—you guessed it—before lunch.

Having noon as my deadline gives me a sense of urgency to keep plowing away at my work. Then if my energy comes crashing down after I eat, it’s OK because I’ve already accomplished the most important things.

Pull out your to-do list at the end of your work day. On a clean sheet of paper or a fresh sticky note, write down 3 tasks that you MUST complete before lunch tomorrow.

Be honest with yourself about what things are truly important and bring you closer to your goals.

Keep your Before Lunch List front and center on your desk so it’s the first thing you see in the morning. Ignore all other distractions, and don’t stop until lunch time!

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.

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  1. Erika Swafford on June 5, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    After lunch really is an energy slump! As much as my job allows I try to do the harder stuff in the morning and the mundane, auto-pilot stuff in the afternoon. I get my second wind in the evening which currently really messes with my bed time!

    • Sage Grayson on June 8, 2016 at 6:33 am

      I do auto-pilot stuff in the afternoon too! But I get sleepy really early at night, around 8:30 pm. That’s because I get up at 5:00 am. I have the sleep schedule of an 80 year old woman. 🙂