Best Practices in HR

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Robyn Whalen
  June 26, 2018

Try Out These 11 Tips to Defeat the Afternoon Slump

Ah, the dreaded afternoon slump. It’s a classic hallmark of office life. As soon as 2 p.m. hits, it feels like all your energy is gone and you can’t seem to concentrate on work no matter how hard you try. Fortunately, there are a few healthy tips you can keep up your sleeves to use help beat those pesky afternoon slumps.

Check out these 11 energy-boosting tips that will help you finish the workday strong: 

Eat a healthy lunch.

In preparation for a productive afternoon in the office, you’ll want to engage in healthy lunchtime habits. You should always take a lunch break and eat a nutritious meal to keep yourself energized and productive. Grabbing fast food and eating it at your desk will cause you to feel uncomfortable and lethargic. Focusing on real foods during your lunch break – like whole grains, fresh produce, and healthy fats – will give your body and brain the nutrients and energy they need to stay focused for the rest of the day.

Pro tip: Along with eating a nutritious lunch, be sure to stay mindful of your portions as well. Too much food (even if it is healthy food) can leave you feeling sluggish.

Go outside.

Sitting inside all day in fluorescent lighting can cause major fatigue. When you start to feel an afternoon slump kick in, get up from your desk and go outside. The fresh air and natural sunlight will reenergize you within a matter of minutes. Exposing yourself to natural sunlight during the day will also help you sleep better at night!

Schedule afternoon meetings.

While you might be tempted to schedule all of your meetings first thing in the morning when you feel most energized, saving your meetings for the mid-afternoon might help you stay productive. If you know you have a 2:30 p.m. meeting coming up, your body and brain will stay alert. Plus, you have something different to do other than sitting at your desk!

Pro tip: Try a walking meeting if possible! Moving around and getting outside will give you a rush of energy.

Have some fun team time.

Chances are, most of your colleagues struggle to stay productive and focused in the afternoon as well. That’s why it’s the perfect time to take a break and do some team activities together. Try starting a walking club, meditation group, book club, or daily yoga sessions to keep everyone energized and focused. For more ideas, check out this list of team building activities that employees will actually like. 

Get moving.

One of the best ways to beat the afternoon slump is to exercise. Physical activity provides a number of health benefits for your body, including providing a huge dose of energy. Consider using your break time to go for a quick jog or use the gym. Can’t make it out of the office or to the gym? Try out some of these desk exercises you can do discreetly at your desk!

Boost your brainpower.

If you’re starting to feel a bit sluggish, try engaging in a brain-boosting activity. Puzzles, meditation, breathing techniques, and a bit of reading can help stimulate your mind to boost energy and concentration.

Do some healthy snacking.

If your afternoon slump starts to creep in a couple hours or so after lunchtime, try snacking on some healthy foods. Nutritious snacks like Greek yogurt, almonds, or fresh fruit will help refuel you and give you a jolt of energy. Be sure to stock your desk drawer or office fridge with some healthy grab-and-go snack options.


Doing some simple stretches at your desk can help get your blood flowing and increase energy. You can easily do some discreet stretches at your desk. Check out some of these desk stretches to try.

Make a playlist.

When used properly, music is a fantastic way to boost productivity. Listening to some of your favorite songs can help boost your energy levels. Once you feel a bit more energized, try switching to some more productive tunes – like classical or instrumental music. That way, your music won’t become a distraction. Check out some of these office playlist ideas.

Stand up.

Sitting all day is terrible for your body and overall health. Not to mention, it leaves you feeling sluggish and is a one-way ticket to an afternoon crash. As soon as you start to feel a bit lethargic, set up your standing desk and refrain from sitting for about an hour. If you don’t have a standing desk, you can easily DIY it!

Switch up your routine.

Doing the same work tasks every day at the same time can become repetitive and mundane quickly. By adding some variety to your daily routine, you’ll improve concentration and feel more productive. Try switching tasks whenever you feel your focus is slipping, and look at something new.

The mid-afternoon slump is arguably the worst part of the workday. While healthy habits like nutritious meals, regular exercise, and a good night’s sleep can help prevent an afternoon slump, sometimes you just need a little extra help! Try out some of the above tips the next time you need an instant boost of energy and productivity.

How do you beat the afternoon slump at work? Share some ideas in the comment section below!Power of Positivity CTA

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