Work is important to you… it’s important to us all. However, when we get tired our work suffers and we don’t put in the best version of ourselves – you can’t pour from an empty cup. It is not only a work-life imbalance that can effect of levels of exhaustion though. Weirdly, after lunch at work, people often feel their most tired, which considering you’re putting fuel into your body is a little odd.
The dreaded afternoon slump however, effects us all whether you’ve eaten a light salad at your desk or indulged in the works at the local eatery. If you’re honest, particularly when it’s warm, all you want to do in the afternoon is your best cat impression and curl up and take a nap. It’s normal for your energy levels to rise and fall slightly during the day. A variety of factors can affect this natural ebb and flow. These include sleep and stress levels, your level of physical activity and the foods you eat.
This is not good for productivity, your business or your mindset. Even the best entrepreneurs in whatever field, find it difficult to avoid exhaustion. So how do you avoid those heavy eyelids during the afternoon?
Avoid All Things Processed
Now you might think that carbs are a great way to go at lunchtime as they’re a good fuel for the body and you wouldn’t be wrong. But processed grains like those found in white bread, white pasta and white rice may actually cause more harm than good when it comes to energy levels. a meal or snack rich in processed grains generally creates a quick rise in blood sugar and insulin levels, followed by a drop-in energy. In contrast, whole grains help you regulate your blood sugar levels and help keep your energy constant throughout the day.
Lunchtime meetings can be a regular occurrence in a lot of business sectors and it’s very tempting and to indulge in a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage with your co-workers (especially if it’s complimentary, right?!) Wrong!
Although alcohol may help you feel relaxed, it can also put you in the mood for sleep, where drifting off will come way to easily. Depending on the amount you drink, it can also effect the quality and duration of any sleep at night too. So, if you’re looking to avoid a cat-nap in the afternoon as well as making sure you’re bright and raring to go the next day, stick to soft drinks.
Latte or Cappuccino?
When consumed in moderation, coffee can have positive physical and mental effects. Caffeine, the stimulant in coffee, has also been reported to create a short-term boost in energy and brain function, which many people rely on when they’re feeling tired.
That said, regularly drinking coffee will cause your body to build up a tolerance, which will reduce the power of its effects. More importantly, regularly relying on coffee instead of getting proper nutrition or sleep can drain your energy over time.
Move It Around
The likelihood in this day and age, is that you have spent a large part of your morning, chained to a desk or at a computer. So, to avoid that afternoon slump, during your lunch break, try to get active and move around.
If you’re that way inclined and have the time, why not hit the gym or go for a swim. If you’re on a tight schedule, a simple walk to a local park or even round the block can wake you up, refresh and boost energy levels.
Plan Your Day
To make the most of your work day, be sure to not save all of your work until the end of the day. Plan out all of the tasks you have for the day and create a schedule or to-do list for the day. Try to do all of the important tasks during the hours you are the most productive. After lunch, give yourself some time to finish off some smaller tasks or whatever work you have left from earlier in the day.
Obviously getting a good night’s sleep each night is key to optimum productivity the following day. However, take on board these tips and you’ll be 5 steps closer to avoiding the afternoon slump and the desire for a cat nap.
My name is Selina Johnson and I'm a Business Support Expert providing Virtual Business Support to businesses. We help SME's with administrative, technical and creative support so you are free to grow your business and increase your profits.
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