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How to Overcome the Afternoon Lull in Productivity

How to Overcome the Afternoon Lull in Productivity

Do you find that around noon every day, you suddenly feel as though you’ve hit a brick wall and seriously struggle to function? Tired, restless and lack luster. Fatigue starts to set in, we become easily distracted and our performance plummets as we anxiously anticipate the end of the work day. This is a pretty common phenomenon, one caused by a number of factors.

So how do you overcome that midday slump? How do you approach that mental hurdle and maintain productivity? Here are some tips…

  1. Diet

Well, the first factor you might want to (reluctantly) address is your diet. Are you eating high carb foods that slowly release energy throughout the day? If you’re not, then this might be what is causing you to burn out. Our brain relies on sugars and carbohydrates to function. If you are eating calorically low foods, or eating fast releasing foods, or not eating at all – then your functionality will be extremely low. Eat slow releasing carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, quinoa, vegetables, beans and whole grains will keep you energised as well as incorporating nutrient dense fast releasing fruits to sustain and adequately satiate you.


  1. Take a break

Make sure you recharge with the right foods, mentioned above. Eat your food outside and go for a walk, even if it’s just around your office. Having something to look forward to gives you a sense of reward that motivates you. If you can, take your break with a co-worker or a group. Positive social interaction is mentally stimulating and a mood-booster. It also breaks up your day, whereas skipping lunch or simply eating at your desk condenses the day in a way that seems more daunting and lengthy. Take your breaks and make them worth it – scrolling through social media might seem like it’s a break, but you’re simply distracting yourself from the stress, exhaustion etc. that will catch up with you later. Spend a couple of minutes being mindful and aware of your surroundings to really benefit from taking a break.


  1. Skip the coffee

The thought of abandoning your caffeine hit might make you uneasy – so many of us rely on it to keep us energised and conscious…. But the reality is that if you are relying to coffee alone to stay functional, then you aren’t functioning anywhere near your peak. Coffee gives you that instant energy boost – but it dissipates just as quickly as you got it. It causes you to crash even harder than before and isn’t sustainable in maintaining concentration. If you feel like you need a little something – opt for a green tea. There’s much less caffeine so you won’t crash, and there are lots of nutritional benefits.


  1. Make small talk

This may seem counterproductive, but if it’s kept to a minimum can aid in provoking new ideas, or at the very least refreshing you or reminding you of what needs to be done. Set small achievable goals. Create a list of the things you do at the start of your day – we humans are simple creatures at times, psychically crossing something off a list gives us immense satisfaction! Reward yourself when you finish a task with something small that won’t completely throw you off course. Perhaps give your partner, a friend or family member a quick phone call to check in. Or take your tea break. Anything that helps aid in your drive to complete a task.