Career advice

How to beat the afternoon slump

We all know that time after lunch when your desk starts to resemble a feather pillow and as your vision blurs and your eyelids droop, you notice the office collectively falling into a lull. But duty calls; you’ve got reports to write, calls to make and other things (deemed important enough that you’ve written them on a post-it note) to do. Except that, if you’re experiencing an ‘afternoon slump’, your to do list seems to be growing at the same time that your productivity level is suffering and frustration sets in.
You’re probably well aware that there are changes you can make to your home routine that will help, like having a healthy breakfast each morning and getting enough sleep at night. Here are a few things you could try though, if you’re in the midst of an afternoon slump and can’t go back in time to get that pesky breakfast in.
  • Go for a quick walk; if you can, go for one outside, the fresh air and sunlight will re-energise you
  • Snack on nuts like raw pecans, walnuts and almonds; they contain slow-releasing energy
  • Leave difficult or important tasks for mornings, you’ll get them done to a higher standard, arrange your schedule so your more interesting jobs take place in the afternoon
  • Drink water all day, de-hydration is related to loss of concentration
  • Move around; do some stretches in your chair or instead of emailing that colleague that sits ten yards away from you, get up from your desk and talk to them directly
  • Listen to music, if you can (and if it hasn’t been said your taste is terrible); it stimulates the brain
  • Laugh! Talking to a colleague for a few minutes will wake you up, and re-motivate you
  • There is no harm in having a pick-me-up cup of tea or coffee, but bear in mind that you may feel more tired when the caffeine rush wears off. Try a green or fruit tea, they contain anti-oxidants and not as much caffeine
  • If you’re feeling too warm, open a window, or turn on a fan as warm temperatures make people sluggish
In some cases, people that experience an afternoon slump may have a medical condition, so if you’ve tried all of the above measures and are still suffering from afternoon fatigue, you should consult your doctor.
If you don’t find your work stimulating or challenging, have you thought about making a career change? Check out the latest jobs from Michael Page to see if there’s anything that suits you.