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Wake Up! 5 Ways to Beat the Afternoon Lull
The middle of the afternoon can be one of the most difficult times of day, especially if you are an entrepreneur. Some people resort to drinking caffeine, but there are a number of other options that are healthier for you and that will keep you going through that rough part in the middle of the day. In this blog, we’re going to give you five different ideas that you can use in order to beat the afternoon lull and finish the day strong.
- Get outside and/or get active. When confronted with lots of work, one of the best things you can do is get outside and get active. Whilst this may sound counter productive (‘you’re telling me to leave my desk when I’m busy?!’) many people cite that, when they leave their desks and change the scenery, their mind clears and they’re in a much better place to think about and complete the tasks that they want to take care of.
Whatever your exercise of choice, whether it’s yoga, walking, swimming or anything else that releases endorphins – the very process of exerting physical energy helps to get your brain going and it helps you to feel more awake. Greatist’s Laura Schwechrl says that “A midday trip to the gym may not only boost productivity; it could ward off sleepiness, too. Stick to some light aerobic exercise before getting back to the books.”
- Change your diet. Your diet plays a huge role in how you feel throughout the day.
As the old adage goes ‘what you put into your body is what you get out’.
What are you eating for breakfast? If your answer is nothing, or you’re just grabbing something without a lot of substance, you’re going to be a lot more likely to get sleepy and distracted during the day.
Similarly, try to avoid big lunches. As Natalia Hancock, Senior Culinary Nutritionist advises,
“Go for a lighter, more nutrient dense lunch. Skip the giant pepperoni slice, 20oz soda and chocolate chip muffin and aim for more reasonable portions that are balanced with fiber-rich carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, legumes or whole grains), protein and healthy fats.”
Note: Always talk to your health professional before changing your diet drastically!
- Completely check out for a couple of minutes. Even though it may not seem to be something that is unproductive, you can actually get a lot out of “checking out” for a few moments. Play a quick game on your phone, catch up on reading the paper, or look at social media. By doing this, you reset your brain and you’ll be ready to go for the rest of the afternoon. A great site for this is Lumosity.com (they also have a free mobile app). The online exercises have all been created by neuroscientists, so whilst you’re switching off for a few minutes, you’re also actually improving your cognitive functions, your memory and your productivity; that’s a win-win!
- Add music to your routine. Music is incredibly motivating to people. If you work a desk job and you’re allowed to do so, put some headphones on and listen to music while you’re working. It can motivate you and it will help you to stay focused on your task because it blocks out all of the noise and distractions that may be going on all around you. If you do this, however make sure that you listen to music without words – otherwise, you may be tempted to sing along, which could be even more distracting. As stated in this article in the NY Times: “In one study involving information technology specialists, [Dr Lesiuk] found that those who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn’t, because the music improved their mood.”
- Take care of your emotional health. Sometimes, the afternoon lull may be triggered by anxiety or stress. If you notice that this is a reoccurring problem, consider talking to your doctor. There may be supplements or practices a medical practitioner can recommend to help boost your mood and your energy.
That said, a remarkably effective DIY solution is to simply take a few minutes in the afternoon to watch something that makes you laugh. Laughing gives you energy and helps you to feel happier, which makes it easier for you to get through your day.
As Rob White writes in the Huffington Post, “Laughter is a cleansing agent for the body as well as the mind. It offers an experience of effervescent wholeness that is transforming, and yet so solid and real…Never dismiss the power of a good laugh. The deliberate pursuit of laughter can change your life dramatically.”
By incorporating these ideas into your daily routine, you’re going to be in a much better place when it comes to achieving your goals and breaking the afternoon lull. We recommend that you try these out for yourself – you will start to see a huge difference when it comes to how much you’re getting done on a daily basis.