We all know the feeling when we look at the clock, convinced it is quarter to five, and it is actually only four in the afternoon! No, there is nothing wrong with our internal body clocks, this is just the common office slump you are dealing with. But, luckily there are lots of ways to beat this ☺
Reserve some “easier” work for the late afternoon
Rather than ignoring the office slump and hiding behind the screen of the computer, pretending to do work you just can’t concentrate on in the late afternoon, it may be a better idea to set aside some work that is less demanding, and start to do it between the hour of four and five. It might be just doing some data entry, updating notes or files. The trick is to be able to do it on “autopilot”, so to speak.
You could even reserve the most intellectually demanding or analytical work for the early part of the morning, when your mind is at its sharpest so that you can wind down gradually doing less demanding tasks as the end of the work day nears.
Eat snacks throughout the day
Research shows that the afternoon office slump has a lot to do with blood sugars. Our blood sugars spike after breakfast, and gradually reduce as the day wears on. Concentration levels follow the same pattern, with concentration and focus tending to get less effective as blood sugar levels wane. You can combat this by ensuring you bring healthy snacks to work like cereal bars and fruit. Eat these regularly throughout the day to ensure a consistent level of blood sugars to aid concentration.
Many businesses across the UK are now ordering baskets of fresh fruit for their employees from places like Fruitful Office, such is the drive to aid employee concentration throughout the day and replace the unhealthy ‘go to’ snacks that people often reach for in stressful situations which are typically packed with sugar and salt.
Lots of people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, this isn’t just a useless old cliché, it is backed by science, with researchers noting the correlation between workers who have had breakfast benefiting from better concentration compared with people who skip breakfast.
If you are too busy for breakfast, there is nothing to stop you bringing a piece of fruit or something easy to prepare and eat on the go like a cereal bar into work with you. You can eat it on the train into work, or just place it on the desk and eat it gradually throughout the day.
Get up and walk around
The office slump can be combated by using the simple trick of just getting up and walking around. So, maybe you need to deliver that report to your colleague or you need to show something to your boss. Instead of just taping out an email, why not print it off, and take it the to your colleague instead? This breaks the monotony of sitting at your desk all day and gives you a chance to be social at work as well.
Have an active lunch break
Getting active over your lunch break isn’t as scary as it may sound. Lots of people make the mistake of using their hour long lunch break sitting at their desk or in a lunchroom. Getting out in the fresh air, even if only for a few minutes can give you a great boost both physically and mentally.