Business Magazine

5 Ways to Beat the 2pm Slump

Posted on the 13 June 2012 by Fleetmatics @fleetmatics

5 Ways to Beat the 2pm SlumpNo this is not an ad for a 5-Hour Energy drink, but that may be what you currently resort to when, at 2pm every week day, you feel yourself wishing your desk chair would turn into a bean bag chair. Regardless of your job title or industry, if you get into the office in the early AM and pray the sun is still out by the time you leave, you’ve encountered the post-lunch slump.

Sure the energy drink or 4th cup of coffee can be enough to get you through the rest of the day, but according to a Mayo Clinic study, coffee “can cause problems such as restlessness, anxiety, irritability and sleeplessness, particularly in susceptible individuals.” Not to mention, unless you drink your coffee black, the cream and sugar added to it can be, as my mother says, “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.”

Rather than downing caffeine, here are five ways to perk up at 2pm:

1. Get Up and Move Around

Even if it’s just a stroll through the office, getting up and moving around will get your blood flowing and give you more energy. Not to mention, sitting for more than 6 hours per day is unhealthy.

Based on the results of several recent studies, the Times’ Olivia Judson writes, “It doesn’t matter if you go running every morning, or you’re a regular at the gym. If you spend most of the rest of the day sitting – in your car, your office chair, on your sofa at home – you are putting yourself at increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and an early death. In other words, irrespective of whether you exercise vigorously, sitting for long periods is bad for you.”

If you have a water cooler in your office, just fill up a small cup (rather than a big water bottle) and head back to the water cooler to fill up every time it’s empty. Yes, I’ll state the obvious, this will also give you another chance to get up and walk to the bathroom more often.

2. Be Conscious of What Your Eat for Lunch

Don’t eat because you’re bored. Stay away from greasy and fatty foods for lunch. Eat a healthy, light meal that is enough to get you to dinner time. Overeating will make you even more tired.

3. Find a Good Time to Power Nap

Instead of working through your 15-20 minute breaks or using the time to chat with co-workers, why not plan a well-timed power nap?  

Rosalind Cartwright, chairman of the department of psychology at Rush University noted that “a power nap of about 15 to 20 minutes is your best bet when you’re feeling weary, but only if taken between 1:00 and 3:00 PM in the afternoon.” If it makes you more productive during the second half of the day, your boss should understand and even encourage it.

4. Listen to Upbeat Music

There are plenty of resources for music these days. If you’re sick of the songs on your iPod, use Pandora or Songza (both free) and put on an upbeat playlist. You can even dance a little if you’re feeling it – if you’re afraid co-workers will judge you, just remember that you’re going to end up having a more productive afternoon while they’re slumped down at their desk.

5. Get Fresh Air and Stay Hydrated

Now that Summer is finally here, don’t hesitate to go outside and get some fresh air. Don’t go sit in your car – walk around, do a few exercises, take deep breaths. You’ll come back in feeling rejuvenated.

Don’t forgot to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Stay away from beverages with lots of sugar, like juices and soda. They may give you a brief pick-me-up, but once that wears off, you’re back right where you started: slumped.

I hope you put these simple things into practice to make for more productive afternoons! Please share any tips you have for staying energized. We’d love your feedback.    

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