Many of us have come to dread that languid hour, around 3:00 or so, when doing business seems not quite worth the effort and your energy inexplicably escapes you.
Even if your lunch consists of nothing more than a cup of coffee (not recommended), we find ourselves struggling to stay in the game. Everyone has their own way of dealing with this because, of course, we have to soldier on. The following are a few ways to keep your momentum.
Do some cardio.
There’s no need to take a trip to the gym in the middle of the day, unless that’s your thing. We’re just talking about ten or fifteen minutes of something cardiovascular, like a quick run or even a walk.
Try doing jumping jacks every ten minutes for an hour, hit the trampoline—whatever floats your boat. The point is that the slump doesn’t really stand a chance if you actually do a little exercise.
Keep it interesting.
Part of the reason you lose energy is due to the fact that you’re not even mildly excited about what you’re doing. If you find yourself plugging away at the same project that you have been working on all day, by 3:00 your mind may begin to retreat due to fatigue.
As long as that project is not time-sensitive, why not work on something else a little more interesting to you? If none of your work interests you, then at least do something more engaging so that it will force you to focus.
Meet up with a good friend.
It may help you to fight the old ennui by hooking up with a friend for a late lunch. Plan it ahead so you have something to look forward to later in the day and something to energize you when you need it most—the midday slump.
Don’t get distracted.
It’s really easy to let yourself be distracted and end up managing too many tasks at once, which can stress you out, which leads to fatigue. Sometimes you have to white-knuckle it at first, and then once you get some deep focus going, you’re awake again and back in the game.
Just try to concentrate on the job at hand without letting extraneous activity get in the way—that means no Facebook, you crazy kids!
Protein over carbs.
We all know that eating a big lunch will make you drowsy and less enthusiastic about getting stuff done, and that’s a given.
At the same time, we also have to monitor not only how much we eat during one time of the day, but what types of foods we are eating—all the time. Although there are many factors that can influence your blood sugar level, excessive carb-consumption is a known cause of low blood sugar.
When you’ve got low blood-sugar, that can lead to low energy. So, stick to the high quality proteins throughout the day—especially fish—to help maintain a good blood sugar level.
Take a walking lunch.
Lunch, and exercise—at the same time?! That’s right. For those of you who don’t work in the city, it may seem a foreign idea; for those who do, you already know.
Try it sometime—get out of the office and out to the street, find a little Mexican fruit stand or whatever street fare is available, and grab your lunch. Eat it on the way back to the office and you’ve got your cardio and your sustenance at once, and you’ll save time.
American culture has accepted this “slump” period, apparently occurring around 3 in the afternoon, as a necessary and natural evil, but it is anything but necessary. This is generally a health and wellness issue, and using these tips is really just an attempt to treat the symptoms.
Your best bet for getting rid of it is to talk to a doctor and find out what lifestyle changes you need to make to keep your energy level high.