Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
I’ve been noticing in the past few weeks that my afternoon slump is getting worse. My afternoon slump usually happens at about 1:00 pm, and manifests itself in sleepiness, yawning and a desire to curl up on my keyboard and nap.
Looking into it, afternoon sleepiness is a normal function of our circadian rhythms. But our actions can make it better or worse. Here are 9 things I find help me get through the afternoon slump:
- Eat breakfast. If I skip breakfast, I am ravenous by lunchtime, and more prone to overeating. However, I am rarely hungry before I leave for work. By bringing a breakfast to work, and keeping packets of oatmeal in my desk, I will eat without getting to the famished stage.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. If I eat a breakfast filled with fat or sugar, I will feel the slump strongly. Eating whole grains with lean protein (cereal with skim milk, oatmeal with almonds, whole wheat bagel with cream cheese) helps combat this.
- Get enough sleep. If I have had a night of poor or lessened sleep, I feel it. Making sure I have enough sleep is an easy way to lessen the slump.
- Exercise. Not only does evening exercise help my sleep, going for a short walk at lunch keeps me more alert.
- Challenge my brain. If work is not particularly engaging, I will feel sleepy. Doing a Sudoku puzzle at lunch helps keep the brain active.
- Drink cold water. Dehydration leaves me tired. Making sure I drink enough water in the morning and with lunch helps. The colder the water, the more awake I feel.
- Eat a balanced lunch. Lunches high in fat and sugar will cause me to have a blood sugar drop at about the same time I normally get tired anyway. Making sure I eat protein at lunch levels out the spike.
- Avoid rice, pasta and potatoes. This one is something that I’ve noted: if I eat rice, pasta or potatoes at lunch, I will be nodding within an hour. I avoid these foods at lunch.
- Listen to upbeat music. Putting on some dancy tunes always gets me engaged.
These are my 9 favorite ways to avoid or get over the slump. Do you have a #10?
Photo by jpockele