The afternoon slump happens to the best of us. Even when we get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling energized, when 3 pm rolls around it’s all we can do to stay awake. And while taking a nap at your desk probably isn’t an option, there are other things you can do to stay alert and focused till the day ends.
1. Go outside
Soaking up some sun can really help with staying awake in the work period after lunch. Go outside and sit on a bench for ten minutes and you’ll feel more energized and awake for the remainder of the work day.
2. Avoid an unhealthy lunch
If your lunches are generally unhealthy, they might be the culprit of your afternoon sleepiness. Meals loaded with sugar and processed ingredients can give you a jolt of energy initially, but they lead to a big crash after a couple of hours. Try incorporating more fruits, veggies, whole grains and nuts into your lunches for more sustainable energy.
3. Stay away from energy drinks
Many energy drink companies target office workers who need a little extra push to get them through the work day. While they might seem like a quick, easy solution to your problem, try to avoid them. They’re high in sugar and caffeine, along with many other unhealthy ingredients. If you need a caffeine boost in the afternoons, consider drinking tea, which delivers many of the same benefits without any of the added junk.
4. Do something else
If you’ve been working on the same task for the entire day, it can make the hours seemingly drag on forever. Consider switching to a different project for a while. It can help immensely with concentration.
5. Take a walk
If you’re about ready to start snoozing at your desk, get up and move around. Go talk to a coworker, walk up and down a few flights of stairs, go get some water. Do this until you no longer feel sleepy — it’ll take less time than you think!
6. Rock out
If you like listening to music while you work, put on something upbeat and lively. Slow piano sonatas are great, but they’ll also put you to sleep (especially if you’re already sleepy).
You can do some simple stretches while sitting at your desk. Roll your head to stretch out your neck, shake out your arms, and stretch your back out.
8. Take a break from the computer
Many people experience problems when they have to stare at a computer screen for too long. Unless it’s absolutely necessary to use your computer, try giving it a break and moving on to a task that doesn’t require looking at a monitor. Your eyes will thank you.
9. Hit the gym
Many people use their lunch breaks to get in a quick workout before heading back to the office. Exercising improves alertness and will give you an energy boost that will last the rest of the day.
10. Drink water constantly
Dehydration can lead to serious sleepiness, so remember to keep sipping throughout the day. If you find you have trouble remembering to stay hydrated, buy a refillable water bottle and keep it at your desk. The visual reminder will help you drink your recommended 9-13 cups per day.