Your morning routine is on point, and you’re scheduling your day ahead of time like a boss.
Yet, for most of us, energy and productivity start to fade about one hour after lunch. Our brilliant, ambitious plans from 7am turn into a list of items to push off until tomorrow, as we surf Instagram and coast into 5pm.
It doesn’t have to be that way, if you have a plan of attack for that mid-day slump. Let’s add a mid-day reset instead.
Here are five concrete ideas that will help you run through the finish line at 5pm, having accomplished everything on that 7am list. Victorious.
Get some fresh air. Our bodies need movement and sunlight to function well. Even if you just walk around the block, you’ll come back with a fresh mindset. Don’t bring your work with you or look at your phone while you’re walking; let your mind roam around. In the winter, do some advance planning, and ensure that you bring cold-weather accessories to work, like gloves and a scarf. If you can just grab them and go, you’re more likely to do it.
Eat a healthy snack. Energy-producing snacks include a handful of almonds, apple slices with peanut butter, or a hard boiled egg. These are easy to keep on-hand, and will keep your mind functioning through dinnertime. Bonus points if you stand up and eat your snack away from your desk, and even better if you bring some to share with your co-workers.
Do a weird ritual. Shake it off like Taylor Swift, or do something else to change your state drastically. Check out some of Tony Robbins’ ideas for a quick change of mindset. Most offices have some space you could use as a hideaway to jump around, laugh a bit, or listen to loud music (that’s what headphones are for). Pretend you’re a famous singer and do some random vocalizations!
Gather your thoughts on paper. Often, a big part of the slump is that your day has been disrupted by items that weren’t on your morning to-do list, and you are having a hard time getting back on track. Stop your brain from running in circles by capturing all of the original and new items in a single spot. Assign priorities, and move on. You’ll feel much more clear when everything is down in writing. This will be easier if you’ve got a designated container for your list, whether it’s Evernote, a pad of paper, or a calendar planner.
Take a nap. It sounds counter-intuitive, but some of the most successful men and women in history were mid-day nappers (think Winston Churchill and Benjamin Franklin). Science tells us that napping can improve cognitive function, help your mood, and even support memory retention. Some offices will even provide comfy spots for a nap as part of their employee wellness program.
The next time you find yourself groping for an afternoon cup of coffee, try one of these ideas instead. Consider grabbing a friend or office-mate and doing them together.
You’ll improve your health, your productivity, and your spirit.