Life is all managing shifts. Shift from one stage in life to another; Shift from one year to the next; Shift from one season to another; Shift from one day to the next; Shift from one project to another; And even shift from one part of your day to the next. When you manage these shifts smoothly you are able to accomplish so much more and live up to your fullest potential.
The reality is many people find these shifts challenging… even when it is simply getting past that afternoon slump. Maybe it is the extra carbs you eat, low sugar intake, or other things. The key is get your blood moving, and get your mind and energy motivated.
Here are 8 simple tips to overcome your afternoon slump – or whatever shift is challenging you:
1. Eat smart. For lunch, enjoy smoothies, fruit, water, nuts, proteins vs. carbs. Eat lite instead of a heavy meal that you will need to digest.
2. Do the hardest project or chore of the day first. When you eat your “frog” in the am, rather than having the hardest thing to do in the afternoon, you will have other less difficult things to work on.
3. Create afternoon routines. For example, after lunch, do a five minute power walk outside, then 10 jumping jacks, go to the bathroom, put cold water on your face, get a big glass of ice water, come into your office, clear your desk, do a brain dump of all morning to-do’s, turn on the lights/music, open a window and start working! Routines help our brains connect with what we want to do. Once you develop habits, your brain will automatically shift gears at all the right times.
4. Engage your body. Do things that get your body moving and that are “easy”. Stand up, sit on a balance ball vs. chair, do things that keep your blood and body moving. Stay engaged with movement, and let the momentum of movement keep you alert.
5. Give your brain a break. Save the more mindless and active tasks for the afternoon. i.e. errands, phone calls, filing, straightening, sorting, etc. When you are wanting to concentrate, looking at the computer, reading, listening, etc. you are working against your energy and have to work to think and focus.
6. Change the scenery. When you can, move to a different room. Do things to get extra lighting, or air. Sit in a place that is suitable not cozy. Perhaps a natural environment to keep you from getting distracted when your mind is already wondering. Turn on some upbeat music. Let your environment keep you on your toes.
7. Play a game. Give yourself a goal, or game to play. When you get this project done, or so many calls made, etc. you can reward yourself with going home early, stopping for a treat on the way home, etc. Introduce some momentum and urgency to the picture to counteract the slowing force of your energy.
8. Lastly, don’t fight it. When nothing else is working, take the 10 minute power nap or a 10 minute mediation time (set a timer). This will allow you to 100% rest and then focus and re-engage in high productivity. When you keep fighting it, you will have a long period of low productivity.
Track your energy and look for the patterns of what works,… and what slows you down. Find the things that support you to be the most productive and attentive; to do different things. When you find things that work, make it a habit. For ongoing success, stay focused, motivated and whatever you do; do something! AND manage your shifts effectively forever.