It happens to loads of us, after a really productive morning you can feel your eyes dropping in the afternoon. By about 2 pm we’re struggling to focus, despite the mountain of work staring back at us. If this sounds like you, then help is at hand. We’ve developed some advice to keep you in the zone for longer.
Get a good night's sleep
The most critical thing is to get your full quota of sleep every night. The recommended amount is 8 hours, however, most people only get around 6. Being fully rested gives you the energy for the day ahead, you will get up feeling alert and awake, rather than tired until that first coffee!
More sleep will allow you to keep your focus in the afternoon and make better decisions. You will also have less reliance on caffeine; another positive step.
Attack your workload
It can be tempting to put off the bigger tasks until later on, whilst you ease into the day ahead. However, studies show that you’re at your most alert around an hour after arriving at work. So for maximum productivity, it makes sense to tackle those more demanding jobs straight away, meaning that if you do feel a little tired later on, it won’t have as much of an impact.
Your diet is integral to staying alert and motivated. Sugary treats can often be very tempting and can be a quick fix for an energy boost. However, this will only lead to a ‘crash’ later on. Eating balanced and nutritional food, at both breakfast and lunch, will give you the required energy for the afternoon.
Get out more!
Spending time outside really helps you unwind and reassess things. Being in the same place for too long can cloud your judgement, and hamper your decision making. Try getting away from your desk, or even the office altogether if possible, at lunchtime. The walk, fresh air and sunlight will all re-energise you, as well as contribute to a healthier day.
Change your routine
Your routine might be just that, routine. It is difficult to be consistently engaged and challenged if there is a lack of variety in your day. Try and limit yourself to an hours work at a time on any particular project. Research suggests that any longer and you will struggle to make any progress anyway. So when you get an opportunity, mix things up a little bit and create a change. A new task will rejuvenate you, and reduce the likelihood of a slump in the afternoon.
Working with others is a great way of altering your routine for the better. Being social and communicating will increase your energy levels, make sure it’s engaging though, sitting and listening to someone else drone will have the opposite effect.
These are a few of the best ways we’ve found to increase energy in the afternoon. Let us know your top tips in the comments below.