Whether I’m working from home or in the office, the afternoon slump is inevitable. It also doesn’t seem to matter how much sleep I’ve gotten the night before or how much caffeine I’ve had.
Even though I would love nothing more than to take a nap come 3:00 pm, that’s just not an option on the weekdays. So, I’ve been experimenting with different ways to beat the afternoon slump and be productive. And I found 18 of them. Hopefully, at least a few of these will work for you 🙂
18 Ways to Beat the Afternoon Slump and Be Productive
1. Do 50 jumping jacks and 10 push-ups
This is my go-to workout routine for when I’m feeling sleepy. I get up and repeat this series until I feel more energized. It’s a great way to both wake-up and burn some extra calories. Give it a try!!
2. Go for a walk
If I’m in the office, I head outside every afternoon and walk two laps around the building, which is roughly half a mile total. It’s not much, but it’s enough to clear my head and give me some much-needed vitamin D. If I’m home, I unfortunately cannot go for a walk since my kids are napping, so on those days I resort to tip #1.
3. Drink a big glass of ice water
I prefer my water room temperature, but if I need to wake up, I drink a big glass of ice water. For some reason, this small thing always works. Combine in with tip #1 or #2 and you’re certain to feel refreshed!
4. Chat with a coworker
The afternoons are when everyone is tired, so why not take it as an opportunity to strike up a conversation with a coworker? I’ll sometimes wander to a friend’s desk around this time and just chat for 10-15 minutes. I always feel more energized when I return back to my desk.
5. One word: Coffee
Ok, so I’m pretty sure I do tips 1-5 every afternoon, haha! I love me an iced coffee, especially in the afternoons. There is just something so refreshing about iced coffee. I only add cream to mine, but you can sweeten yours up however you like. Tip: Try adding milk, evaporated milk (yup, the powder), and one sweet n’ low. Mmmmm.
6. Grab a healthy snack
Think high protein, low sugar. I will usually grab a handful of almonds or slice up an apple and dip in peanut butter.
7. Call up your spouse or a friend
John and I normally chat multiple times throughout the day, but we almost always have a quick convo in the afternoon to motivate each other to make it through our day.
8. Take 5 deep breaths
Sit at your desk, minimize your browser, and take 5 deep breaths to clear your head and oxygenate your body.
9. Eat a mint or rub peppermint oil in your hands
Mint is known to give your energy and make you feel awake. If you have peppermint-scented lotion (popular around the holidays) or peppermint oil, rub some between your palms and inhale the scent. If you don’t have either of those products (like me), try eating a few strong mints.
10. Plan a midday team-building exercise
Whether it’s a quick huddle or an involved meeting, try to plan something that will get your juices flowing again. If you work from home or are self-employed, text a friend about your new business ideas!
If you can’t do a mini-workout, stand up and stretch at the very least. This will get your blood flowing, loosen your muscles and give you that much-needed burst of energy.
12. Get away from your computer
I really think the reason we feel the afternoon slump is because we’ve been staring at a screen for six hours by midday. Give your eyes a break by stepping away from your computer for 15 minutes. You don’t even have to leave your desk, just get your eyes away from the screen.
13. Splash yourself with cold water
Something I’ve never done, as I don’t want my makeup to run off my face, but my husband can attest to this. Splash yourself in the face with cold water. Job done.
14. Listen to music
Create a playlist or choose a Pandora station featuring fast, upbeat songs. This is a surefire way to get your blood pumping again!
15. Do something different
Have you been working on the same project for the entire day? If so, no wonder you’re burnt out! Midday is a great time to switch up your tasks and do something different, even if it’s just cleaning out your inbox.
16. Run an errand
If I’m working from home, I’ll plan on doing an errand in the late afternoon to break up my day. By going to the grocery store or the post office, I completely skip the afternoon slump and can get right back to work upon returning.
17. Avoid sugar at lunch
If you eat sugar during lunch, you’ll get the sugar high shortly after and then crash right around midday, making your afternoon slump 10 times worse. It’s best to limit your sugar intake during the work week and save your treats for the weekend, when you can just take a nap if you so desire.
18. Power through it
Hahaha – that was a tip from my husband 🙂 But he’s right! Sometimes there is no “remedy,” you simply have to put on your big kid pants and power through. Don’t think about how tired you are, and instead focus on what needs to be done. It actually works 🙂
How do you beat the afternoon slump?!