Nine tips to help you stay focused in the afternoon

It’s 12:50 pm. Having just finished a nice lunch with her colleague, I’m back in the office to work on a report from my boss. She sits down in a new ergonomic chair and rejuvenates her at a mini-party at lunchtime.

When I log in to my PC, my energy level suddenly drops, my vision is blurred, and I’m out of focus. Yeah, it’s a terrifying afternoon slump.

Every day, between 1 pm and 3 pm, people from all over the world hit the wall. It’s a blank between the morning assault and the late afternoon push. When we are full, we need more blood, and our bodies succumb to it and deprive our brains of blood.

Behold, we find ourselves struggling.

If you can get involved, this article is for you. But even if you can’t, the tips found in this article can help you increase your energy levels and help you achieve your best performance longer and more effectively.

Six main causes of the afternoon slump

Let’s clarify one. The afternoon slump is very real for most people. But it’s important to remember, you don’t have to.

Before we get into the secrets of avoiding an afternoon slump, let’s first talk about the six main causes.

1. Circadian rhythm

Humans are wired like this. Our circadian rhythm makes us sleepiest from 1 pm to 3 pm and from 2 am to 4 am. The early afternoon is also the hottest time of the day. As a result, many Southeast Asian countries start school early so that children can return home before 2 pm.

Growing up, many in the Latin world enjoyed a siesta, also known as an afternoon nap. It didn’t make much sense at the time, but I’ve tried different time management techniques over the last decade and I can say that a short 30 minute siesta really helps improve my energy level and productivity.

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It turns out that I’m not the only one enjoying a good nap. Winston Churchill, Leonardo da Vinci, John F. Kennedy, Albert Einstein, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Usain Bolt and Lebron James are just a few of the celebrities who indulge in a nap.

2. Bad sleep habits

Again, we are humans, not robots. Our bodies demand rest. Our bodies are made a little different, but most people need 7 to 8 hours of rest per night.

The problem is that most people short-change themselves when it comes to sleep. They try to squeeze in another episode of Game of Thrones or some more games in Fortnite.

Teenagers are often the most guilty of this, but adults are just as bad. The problem is that adults do not have the unlimited energy levels and recovery speeds that children have.

3. Poor eating habits

We have all heard the phrase “you are what you eat”.

I remember when a tennis star had a very limited window where he could compete at the top level. In the 1990s, in the world of tennis, those over the age of 28 were considered old. Then came players like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who changed everything.

Their diet was a big part of their success and made it possible to extend the year they won to their late thirties.

4. Dehydration

Our body is made up of up to 60% water. Water is needed to flush the system. It helps us avoid brain fatigue and clarifies our thoughts. Still, most people choose to consume coffee and soda.

Instead of giving our bodies what they need, they instead take over our system and try to raise our focus with caffeine and sugar. This works in the short term, but it’s not an effective long-term solution, and the result is worse than good.

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5. High level of stress

Our body and mind build stress. When we experience stress, a hormone called cortisol goes into active mode, which makes us feel depleted and exhausted. Therefore, getting enough rest is important for managing different levels of stress.

6. Metabolic disorders

There may be underlying metabolic disorders such as prediabetes and insulin resistance. If so, you will find yourself more suffering shortly after lunch if you do not have the food your body needs. These are indicators for talking to medical professionals.

9 Tips for Controlling Afternoon Slump

Now that we know why it happens, let’s see how to control the afternoon slump and stay focused.

1. Let’s sleep soundly

Since there is only one body, it costs money to take care of it. As mentioned earlier, most people need 7-8 hours of sleep per night to perform at peak levels. It may not be enough or too much for you.

Not all of us are built the same, but statistically speaking, it’s a sweet spot. 7-8 hours.

2. Hachibunmei practice

Hachibunmei is a common concept in Japan. That basically means that you should eat until you are 80% full. In other words, if you want to avoid a slump in the afternoon, stuffing yourself at lunch is a disaster recipe.

I’m a little hungry, so I keep waking up. We all had a big lunch to get sleepy soon. That’s because our body sends blood to the stomach to digest everything. This creates an unavoidable brain fog.

So the next time you wonder if you should finish the huge sandwich you got for lunch, or if you should keep it later, do the latter. You thank me

3. Get fresh air

If there’s one lesson to learn from Covid and the blockade, it’s that you need to go out from time to time.

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Fresh air is an underrated productivity hack. These days I often stay in front of the screen. Many of us spend more than half of our work time in front of the screen, just picking up our iPad or iPhone during breaks or on the train.

Spend time away from the digital world and get a fresh air. Not to mention the level of productivity, it’s worth noting how a 30-minute walk from lunch break can help your health and sanity.

4. Stretch

For most people, their lifestyle is “sitting”. For those unfamiliar with the word, it simply means inactive.

You need to counter the lack of movement with a minimum of stretch. Sitting at your desk all day does not increase your energy level. Instead, every 30 minutes, take the time to get up, walk around a bit, and do some basic stretching. That will make a big difference.

5. Yoga practice

Stretching is good, but yoga is better. Unfortunately, after lunch you probably can’t do that in the office.

Yoga should be done first thing in the morning before you start the day. It’s amazing how different you feel with just a 20-minute session each morning.

6. Eat the right kind of food

There is good food and there is wrong food. Fast foods, energy drinks, caffeine, and carbs are just a few of the things that can ruin your health if you overdo it. Instead, think of salads, proteins, and greens.

Read this article for Healthy Eating Tips: 15 Healthy Eating Tips from Professional Health Coaches

7. Affirm to yourself

The affirmation is very powerful. It’s easy to be pulled by all the negatives we encounter at work, which can easily tire us. It can start to affect your mind, especially as the days get longer.

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Affirming is a positive way to boost your heart. “I can handle whatever comes my way” is a good example of affirmation.

Read this: 30 daily positive affirmations to motivate you

8. Peppermint oil scent

Fragrant peppermint oil is known to activate and improve mental function. Simply rubbing peppermint oil in your hands and gently tapping your face will give you a little more healthy energy.

9. Meditate

We are all logged in to The Matrix in some way. It has become a way of life. That is why we need to do something that allows us to escape from it.

Meditation is the purification of the mind and the control of thoughts. It’s another underrated technique that can help you cope with the stress of life.

There are seven ways to start meditation.

Final idea

The afternoon slump is inevitable as it is effectively part of our DNA. But you’ll be amazed at how much you can avoid it with just a few simple changes to your lifestyle. In the process, your concentration will increase.

Featured Photo Credits: Miikka Luotio via Nine tips to help you stay focused in the afternoon

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