Afternoon Slow-Down? Don’t Let it Stop You – 3 Timely Tips!

Cat Nap-Afternoon Slow-Down

When the Afternoon Slow-Down strikes …

Do you notice that you sometimes (or maybe often) hit a point in the afternoon when you feel unfocused, tired, and don’t know what to do next?

I call it the Afternoon Slow-Down – and it’s a pretty common phenomenon in workplaces around the globe. In some cultures, a siesta addresses the challenge. But in many others we’re left to fend for ourselves.

The Afternoon Slow-Down can be disconcerting because it often feels like it comes out of nowhere, and it eats into your productivity when you can actually least afford it.

The Afternoon Slow-Down: Why?

One excellent way to avoid the slow-down is to figure out why it happens in the first place. And I don’t mean why it happens, generically, but why it happens for you.

So here are some possibilities to consider:

Fatigue: Physical and mental fatigue both make it very difficult to maintain focus and motivation. They may feed on one another, creating a fogginess that makes it hard to see your goals.

Interruptions: You may have had a plan and priorities at 8:30, but by 2:30 the landscape of your day may have been transformed by unexpected changes, questions, and demands, or others’ emergencies. Interruptions are often the norm in workplaces. Their cumulative effects can be quite challenging, for example:

  • You may be tired as a result of having to shift gears numerous times.
  • As well, you may feel that you’ve lost control of your time, and therefore lose your motivation.
  • And you may feel thwarted, annoyed or angry. Emotions, held in, are huge energy drains and big contributors to fatigue.

Procrastination: When you lose sight of your goals and lose focus, whatever the reasons, procrastination is an easy next step to take. And when it comes to slowing down, you might call procrastination The Gold Standard. Once you hit the point of procrastinating, everything grinds to a halt.

But the good news is that you can step into this cycle at any point and change it for yourself. It isn’t complicated and it doesn’t require a lot of time, either. The key is to recognize what’s happening and take action.

Afternoon Slow-Down – 3 Tips to Re-Energize Your Day

Tip #1: Clear Your Mind: Step away from whatever you are doing and take a few moments to give your mind a rest. Focus on your breath. Let yourself relax. Let go of the distractions and challenges of the day. Just breathe and be. Doing this, whether you call it meditation of just sitting quietly, allows you to come back to your work with grounded energy and calm clarity.

Tip #2: Get Some Exercise: Find what works best for you. Maybe it’s a walk at lunchtime. Maybe it’s going to a gym. If you’re short on time you can simply get up from your chair and do some calisthenics or some yoga stretches. Whatever you choose to do, notice how it affects your perspective. Exercise is a powerful way to refresh and rejuvenate yourself.

Tip #3: Set Your Priority for the Rest of the Day: Lack of focus feeds fatigue, but you don’t have to continue along that path. You can choose to stop and decide what will be your priority for the rest of your afternoon. Make sure to define your task clearly and make it something that can be done in the time remaining. Creating clear parameters for yourself consolidates your energy and gives it a productive path to follow.

I hope you find these tips helpful and keep them handy so you can use them the next time you feel an Afternoon Slow-Down coming on.

And let me know how it goes for you – I’d love to hear!

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