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Nov 15 2016

How to Make It Through the Afternoon Productivity Slump


Every day, right around 3 p.m., many in our office start feeling it: the dreaded slump. Ideas suddenly seem to vanish, focusing becomes much harder, and even the most basic tasks double in difficulty.

We don’t believe we’re alone—many professionals experience a huge dip in productivity around this time. But just because the afternoon slump is common, doesn’t mean we need to put up with it. Below, we’ve outlined some strategies for staying productive during this chunk of the workday.

1. Save Your Busywork

Rather than doing your most mindless projects whenever you find time, save them for 3 P.M. After all, it’s a waste to work on something that requires only 20% of your mental power when you’re at peak energy.

Make sure you don’t let any tasks slip through the cracks, by jotting them down throughout the day. For instance, if it’s 9 a.m. and you remember that you want to book plane tickets for a conference, add that to your to-do list before returning to your original work.

When 3 p.m. rolls around, you’ll have a ready list of easy tasks to power through.

2. Get Moving

A 10- to 15-minute walk can do wonders for your alertness. When you feel your eyelids start to flicker, jump up and go for a stroll.

You can accomplish two things at once by inviting a colleague to come with you. Not only will you get a chance to bond, but you’ll give your brain a break from business.

If you’d rather go solo, try listening to some pump-up music or an entertaining podcast.

3. Take a Nap

When you decide to get some shut-eye, don’t feel guilty; there’s plenty of research backing up the efficacy of power naps. Your employer would rather have you sleep for 20 minutes and work efficiently for 40 than stay awake for an hour and get little done.

Some companies offer nap rooms, but if yours isn’t one of them, it’s not a lost cause. You can steal some shut-eye in your car, or (if you have your own office) at your desk. Alternatively, reserve a small conference room for a half hour.

Urban professionals can take advantage of Breather, which provides on-demand office spaces in cities like New York, L.A., San Francisco, and Chicago. Just rent a room for 30 minutes and use it to snooze.

4. Eat a Snack

You’re probably tempted to drink coffee or caffeinated soda, but a high-protein snack will have the same effect—and it won’t hurt your ability to fall asleep later.

Nuts, cheese, fruit and peanut butter, or a granola bar are all quick, easy options that’ll boost your concentration.

About Signature Consultants, LLC

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the ninth consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is named the 15th Largest IT Staffing Firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 29 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit https://www.sigconsult.com. Signature Consultants is the parent company to Hunter Hollis and Madison Gunn.

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