Have you ever fallen victim to the mid afternoon slump? Even the most driven and motivated people can get hit with fatigue at work, causing a loss in productivity and motivation. But fear not, there are ways to combat this.
1. Get Enough Sleep. It may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep. Your ability to work productively and efficiently goes down exponentially when you don’t sleep enough, no matter how much coffee you drink the next day. So stick to a solid sleep schedule, allowing you the 8+ hours of sleep per night that your body needs to power through your work day.
2. Eat Breakfast. When you’re rushed in the morning, it’s easy to skip breakfast, but you may regret it later in the day. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate meal. Just aim for something light with protein and fiber to get you through the hours until lunch time. Oatmeal, yogurt, whole wheat toast, and cereal are great quick options to keep you fueled.
3. Turn Your Lunch Break Into a Fitness Break. A mid-day workout might be just what you need to get through the afternoon. A quick 30 minute workout will help boost your energy and burn some calories, and maybe even help you burn off some of the stress from your workday. If you don’t have a gym membership, a lunchtime walk is a great substitute.
4. Power Nap. Some people find that taking a nap during the day helps them have more energy. It’s a personal preference whether or not this would be beneficial to you. Just be sure to limit your nap to 30 minutes so as to not interfere with your sleeping schedule.
5. Skip the Sugar. It’s true that sugar can give you a quick boost of energy. But that energy fades rapidly, often leaving you more fatigued than before. Unfortunately, sugar is hidden in everything, and limiting how much sugar you put in your coffee in the morning might not be enough. Be careful what you drink. Sodas, juice, and sports drinks are loaded with added sugar, so stick to water and unsweetened tea during the day.
6. Open a Window. Let some sunlight and fresh air in. Human beings weren’t meant to sit inside all day, so having a small connection to the world outside can benefit you greatly. A little sunlight will help you combat fatigue and depression, and help keep your circadian rhythm in check.
7. Snack. Fill the time in between lunch and when you clock out with a healthy snack to keep your metabolism going and keep you from succumbing to afternoon fatigue. Stick to snacks that are low in sugar and high in fiber. Fruits, vegetables, and nuts are great healthy snacking options to keep on hand. Click here to read more tips on eating healthier at work.
8. Drink Water. Dehydration can cause fatigue, so it is important to sip on water throughout the day. And no, the water in your coffee and tea does not count, since the caffeine in these drinks act as a diuretic and expedite the rate at which your body becomes dehydrated.
9. Listen to Music. If you have the means, listening to music at work can help you focus better and power through your work day. Studies have shown that classical music can increase focus and brain function, and have a relaxing effect on the mind and body. Listen to whatever suits you, as long as it helps you focus.
10. Leave Your Desk. Being glued to your desk all day can cause fatigue to set in much quicker. Take a 5 minute break, volunteer to run errands, do whatever it takes to just spend a couple minutes away from your desk. This will help your posture, blood pressure, and decrease eye strain from staring at your screen for hours. If you need to, set a reminder on your computer or phone to take a break every half hour or so.