I don't know about you but I find the afternoons to be one of the most difficult parts of the day in terms of my energy levels. The last thing I want to do at 3pm in the afternoon is sit down and focus on an important piece of work that requires a lot of concentration. Are you the same?
After doing some 'googling', there have been some studies that prove that the 'afternoon slump' is a thing. Therefore, I thought I would share with you why we have a slump in our energy in the afternoon and some helpful tips to help combat it or make the afternoon's easier at least.
The Afternoon Slump
Research completed by the Sleep Foundation showed that having a slump in our energy around 1pm - 3pm is natural and is part of our body's internal clock. Your internal clock helps keep your sleep cycle aligned with your day and night cycle.
Your internal clock is more or less set by your body's biology therefore you can't eliminate the afternoon slump completely from your daily routine however there are ways to help reduce the impact it has to your afternoons which I have included below.
Ways to Reduce the Slump
It is highly likely that the vast majority of us don't drink enough water throughout the day therefore fuelling yourself with water to help regain energy won't do you any harm.
Eat a Healthy Snack -
Or your body may be feeling in a bit of a slump because it has a lack of energy through food so try and grab perhaps a piece of fruit or a cereal bar to help boost your energy.
Reduce Caffeine -
It's only natural for us to react to tiredness by reaching for a cup of tea or coffee but this may not do you any favours at night-time when you are trying to get to sleep as your body won't switch off due to too much caffeine. Therefore, use caffeine wisely. Some people react well to caffeine whereas for others it can have an impact on sleep so perhaps experiment and see when your caffeine cut off is.
I must admit, when going for a small walk in the afternoon, it does help boost my energy levels and so I would recommend doing half an hour or so of exercise to help release those endorphins into your body and help boost your energy.
Have a Siesta -
Some European countries have a siesta in the afternoon so that they are ready for the evening and have a new lease of energy. Perhaps try giving this a go. Some people can feel a bit groggy after taking a nap but it all depends on how long you take a nap for. Check out this Instagram post I did here to find the perfect nap time for you.
Have a Declutter -
Having a untidy space won't help you to regain focus throughout the afternoon therefore take half an hour to declutter your space. Remove any unnecessary tabs, tidy your desk, perhaps even clean your area and make it smell all nice and fresh. This will help tidy your mind and regain some focus for the afternoon.
Time Management -
There's a couple of tips under this category. One being time blocking and two, to plan your tasks around your energy.
Let's start with time blocking first. I like to time block out my day if I know I have multiple tasks to achieve throughout the day. By dedicating an hour or 45 minutes per task, it helps me to stay focused and work harder to achieve the tasks within that time frame. I have a template which you might find useful for this here.
Secondly, I know from my natural body clock that I am much more productive in the morning compared to the afternoon therefore I plan my most focused and difficult tasks for the morning which then leaves me the afternoon to be creative and do less mentally staining tasks.
So if you suffer with the afternoon slump, firstly reassure yourself that it is normal to have a dip in our energy around 1pm - 3pm and perhaps use some of these tips to help regain some of your energy. If you do have concerns about your energy levels though, I would suggest speaking to your local GP.
Resources - CollegeinfoGeek