Midday slump

The post Christmas Midday slump

If you’re just back at work after a two week Christmas break, how come you’re still susceptible to the Midday slump? At a time when you should be returning to the workplace revistalised and invigorated why are you still so tired? And, more importantly how do you go about beating it?

Employ slump busting strategies

Do you manage to get the full, recommended eight hours sleep every night or are you one of those amongst us who generally survives on six hours or less? Truth is, it’s unreasonable to expect that anyone will be fully switched on for eight hours straight each day. What you need to do is employ strategies that will help to keep you energised for longer and that will help to reinvigorate you when you need it during the midday slump.

  • Tailor tasks to your energy levels – You general perform best in mid-morning and late afternoon so try and schedule detailed, high energy or important decision making tasks to those points in the day. Other times of the days should be reserved for more menial jobs that don’t require the same levels of brain or muscle power.
  • Move around – Physical movement is great for applying a temporary boost to alertness and energy levels. A brisk walk or just doing some stretches at your desk will help to get the oxygen to flow and convince your mind to overcome the effects of fatigue.
  • Move away from the coffee machine – Caffeine may work for a while but the effects wear off quickly and you’re soon back to square one. You might feel as if that shot of coffee has banished the feeling of tiredness but all it really does it to block the chemical signals that informs the body of fatigue. It’s ok to enjoy a cup of coffee, just don’t depend on it.
  • Don’t take your device to bed – Energy levels can be severely affected due to the overuse of screens and the effect of the blue light they emit. The evil blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, a chemical that informs the brain that it’s time to go to sleep. Does it really make any difference if you respond to that email at bedtime or first thing in the morning?
  • Employ breathing techniques or….meditate! – If it was good enough for Steve Jobs then surely it’s good enough for you! He swore by the use of meditation at his desk to decrease stress and increase focus in a tired brain. If that is a step too far for the staid UK workplace there are a number of breathing exercises that can help achieve similar results.

Principles to remember to beat the Midday slump

Do:

  • Meditate or perform breathing exercises when energy levels start to wane.
  • Put down devices at least one hour before going to bed, and try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep regularly.

Don’t:

  • Tackle important or creative tasks during periods of low energy, save them for peak energy hours.
  • Sit at a desk all day; take short walks, stretch or do calisthenics for short-term bursts of energy.
  • Depend on coffee to get through the day.