We all share the same 3 PM across-the-globe-yawn. It just hits us: the sudden energy drop straight after lunch break – we get tired and various distractions step in. Meet the productivity lull. To understand how to overcome it, let’s take a look at the reasons for its appearance on the first place:
- The fatigue: It could be that your body is actually tired of sitting at the desk, or that you stared too much at the computer screen. The former leads to poor blood circulation, the latter makes our eyes go red or tear up.
- Stress: Excess workload is often the reason to feel exhausted – especially when there is a colleague who is on a leave, or joyfully sending some beach pictures. Being overwhelmed, people end up with more than what they could handle.
- Office distractions: How about that little Slack star that just stays there, or some Skype messages from colleagues who either feel like chatting for fun, or have questions that will interrupt your long-awaited concentration? Or what about the two (or more) ladies who gossip about each other and see the work environment as a drama scene to resolve their personal issues? Sometimes unnecessary meetings can make you lose focus. Irritations and distractions are almost always on in every office, regardless of whether it is a physical or a remote one. As more anxiety crops up, productivity levels decline. However, there are tips that can help you overcome distractions.
- Low blood sugar: Being occupied often results in complete mental absence. We forget to eat healthily, to drink water and to even take a little walk around to improve our blood circulation! Sometimes the best case scenario is a big portion of lunchtime junk food, which in reality only harms your well-being and does not support your attention span.
- Personal issues: They are always there! No matter how devoted or loyal you are, if there is anything that goes wrong with your partner, children, parents or friends, it just “invisibly” stays there and becomes more active as the end of the day approaches.
Sound familiar? Well, you are not alone! Here are some tips to try and establish whether they work for you!
- Sport: Physical exercise fights sleepiness and enhances productivity. If there is no opportunity for any gym exercises or a lunchtime park jogging, walking outside for 30 minutes will clear your head and give you fresh energy.
- Face wash: When you realise you are very distracted just step away from the screen and wash your face with cold water. This is good both for the skin and for relaxation.
- Green Tea Power: Green tea has various health benefits and it is heavily recommended for digestion and energy problems. It has lower caffeine levels than a cup of coffee yet it is the perfect choice for a drink that will keep you awake in the afternoon without keeping you awake at night!
- Fresh food: Eat some fresh food like a banana, a salad, or some salmon! Food like pizza or spaghetti takes a lot of time and energy to digest and hence they consume from your work/brain power. Nuts are also a good option, as they will increase your alertness.
- Nap: We have lots to learn from cats! 10-20 minutes of sleep at midday can actually change your whole day!
- Lunch meeting: This is a good strategy to ‘trick yourself’ to spend time outside the office environment. No desk eating, no aimless chair rotation and no Facebook addiction (hopefully!).
- Gum: It is that simple – afternoon energy can be restored with chewing a gum. There are so many to choose from. You might even try some energy-boosting caffeine type!