Have you ever had one of those days where you power through the morning, only to feel like crashing once you got back from lunch? If this happen
Have you ever had one of those days where you power through the morning, only to feel like crashing once you got back from lunch? If this happens often, it may be time for further analysis if you want to maintain your workflow.
Having a productive day can make you feel good and reduce stress, while not getting much done can not only ruin your day, it can put everything behind schedule. Here are a few things you can do to help push through, reset, and get rid of that afternoon fatigue.
1. Drink water.
Dehydration, even if it’s mild, can tangle up your brain function. According to a 2018 study by Nina Stachenfeld of the Yale School of Medicine and the John B. Pierce Laboratory, when you are dehydrated, you can’t focus as well on complex problems and are 12 percent more likely to make mistakes.
While that may not seem like a lot, 12 percent is a big deal, especially if your job requires a lot of attention to very specific details. Being 12 percent more likely to make mistakes versus drinking water more frequently seems like a pretty clear choice.
2. Have a healthy snack.
Having healthy snacks and healthy meals will give you the right natural energy, especially if your diet includes plenty of dark, leafy, greens and protein. It can sometimes be hard to avoid carb-heavy, dense foods, but try to go for options that are healthier and aren’t fried or heavily processed.
3. Stretch in the sunlight.
Stretching several times a day can really help perk you up. It’s best if you can do a standing stretch near a window where natural light is coming through. Sunshine can help reduce the melatonin production that makes us sleepy.
If you can’t get sunlight, stretching and working near a lamp and overhead lights are great too. Avoid working in the dark, particularly after lunch.
4. Use a standing desk.
One tool that I always find helpful when I want to get things done is a standing desk. I usually find that I have a boost of energy and can power through a tough assignment when I use it.
If you don’t have a standing desk, don’t worry. You can always use a dresser, bookshelf, or even kitchen counter. However, be aware of posture and neck strains if you aren’t able to keep your computer at eye level.
5. Invigorate your senses.
One of the easiest things you can do is chew minty gum. It doesn’t require focus but is still stimulating. You can also use essential oils, diffusers, and even plants to help keep you stimulated. Keeping a bottle of peppermint or citrus oil at your desk can be a nice pick-me-up. Plants like rosemary and eucalyptus can also keep you alert.
Try adding a few colors to your workspace. Having a color scheme might help you feel more creative.
Finally, listening to music can also help you perk up again post-lunch. Make a playlist of songs that give you energy.
6. Work in groups.
To help the afternoon slump, do group work in the afternoon. Having to come up with fresh ideas and contribute to a group effort not only encourages social interaction, it also can help keep you and your team more connected, especially if people are working from home.
As a leader, perhaps you can suggest daily afternoon group chats and an easygoing video chat every Friday. They don’t have to be long, but they should be available to all employees. Plus, I’ve found it to be nice to check-in with staff that doesn’t add pressure.
7. Get a good night’s sleep.
Good sleep patterns may take work, but it can be done. I’ve found that drinking tea that’s meant to help with sleep is useful, especially when I’m jetlagged. Good sleep lessens the likelihood of crashing after lunch.
Meditation is a great way to relax your mind and help you focus. Taking a few minutes to concentrate on your breathing can increase your energy levels and help clear brain fog.
I do a simple “breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth” for about a minute when I need to reset and focus.
9. Avoid straining your eyes.
If you work on a screen for most of the day, give your eyes some rest. Eye strain can make you feel fatigued. Avoid sitting too close to your screen (an arm’s length away is recommended).
In order to give your eyes a break, every 20 minutes, focus your eyes on something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Published on: Apr 2, 2020
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