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Do you have problems staying on track at, say, 3 p.m.? That’s the worst time of day for me. I want to get my son from school early, I want to walk the dogs, I want to finish reading a book. However, I usually am not done with my “day job” at this time. I find my mind wandering, and I end up having to work even later since I was lost in la-la land for a bit. It’s a terrible cycle! Not only does my mind wander, but my energy levels drop significantly. I have a few tricks that have helped keep me focused and on track. Oh, and spoiler alert, they include my little secret… 5-hour ENERGY® shots!
After a few weeks readjusting my schedule and transitioning into a work-at-home mom, I have found that a few strategies help. And, bonus, you can do these even if you are working full time at a desk job. I shared what I do before breakfast and productivity tips to maximize your day, but these tactics focus just on that late afternoon slump. Specifically, how to get out of it and how you can avoid it altogether!
Keep reading to find out how I make the most of each and every day.
1. Go outside. I find that I lose track of time and end up at my desk for far too long. It is so important to get moving, even if it is just to check the mail or return a voicemail. We had afternoon showers today, and it was kind of the perfect afternoon. I don’t mind working when it is dreary outside (it’s so painful to be trapped on a computer when it’s sunny and warm!), and the afternoon rain was somehow calming today. When I was losing my energy and my brain was wandering from the task at hand, I knew it was time to step out back and relax. Even if it was just for a moment.
The raindrops falling and the birds flying nearby reignited my spark for the day, and it helped me power through the remainder of my day. Seriously, listen to the birds in the video! I was surprised at how clear the neighborhood sounds came out.
My mini breaks are also the only time I really check my phone during “business hours.” I have learned that my phone is a MAJOR distraction during the day. I actually leave it on the charger in the kitchen while I work in the office. If it’s an emergency, you would have better luck emailing me than calling!
2. Give thanks. Something that motivates me to be a better person throughout the day is gratitude. I’m grateful for my home, my husband and son, and my work. It is important to take a moment to pause and reflect upon what you are grateful for. Why are you working? What do you need energy to do? I know that I need a bit of a boost when my son arrives home. Someone has to keep up with his toddler antics and never-ending energy levels! I do all of my work for him to hopefully, one day, be able to be more available for him and his activities. If I work hard now, I can revel in the rewards later. At least, that’s what I tell myself.
My Whitney English Day Designer has a spot for daily gratitude. I take a minute and just fill in the box alongside my to do list. Even just thinking about my son inspires me to work a little harder, a little faster.
3. Brain dump. This is a new habit of mine, but it is quickly becoming a favorite. Sometimes, my mind is just too full. It’s the only place where all my event reminders, to-dos, grocery lists, and special dates are kept. Sure, I try to write them out on various planners, but I can never seem to get it all out. When Emily Ley released her Simplified Journal, I knew I needed one in my hands. It is my afternoon companion. Whatever doesn’t have a place in my planner but has a place in my mind or heart, gets written out.
It’s a habit that doesn’t take too much time, and it helps me re-focus and remember what I’m supposed to be doing for the day.
4. Think about dinner. While I used to be quite diligent about meal planning, some of my good habits have faded fast due to forgetfulness or pure laziness. So, in my afternoon “slump,” I try to make a mental note of what is going on for dinner. Since I’m home during the day now, I can start the Crock Pot or defrost any meat. If you’re at work in an office at this time, you may not have that luxury. However, you might be able to text your spouse and remind them to stop for milk or you can make a mental note to stop for fresh vegetables. Even better, scan your phone using a recipe app (like Emeals) to get ideas!
5. 5-hour ENERGY® shots. Seriously, #ThisIsMySecret.
I found a variety of flavors at my local CVS near the pharmacy. I prefer the pomegranate, but they are all perfect for a boost. 5-hour ENERGY® shots are a dietary supplement that contains a blend of B-vitamins, amino acids, and essential nutrients. There’s zero sugar, carbs, or herbal stimulants and a serving is just four calories. Since the caffeine is comparable to a cup of the leading premium coffee, it’s a quick way to get the energy I’m looking for without the fuss of brewing a cup of coffee.
These tips don’t take long to implement. Take fifteen minutes for yourself in the afternoon to get outside. Empty your mind and focus on what you are thankful for. Take the time to recharge and your work will be done sooner than you think!
How do you beat the afternoon slump?
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