The most challenging time of the day is usually after the lunch break. Have you ever come back from that lunch, that good carbo-loaded meal, a good laugh with your lunch date and by the time you come back to your desk, you start feeling like you have to drag yourself just to click your mouse? Well, that’s the afternoon slump.
You tend to get the afternoon slump, more likely to be distracted with the other people’s agenda through emails; if you are working from home, you suddenly think that there’s a need for you to clean the table counter; or just the thoughts that you so deserving that one episode on Netflix; or…maybe you have a pet that wants you to walk them out. You, yes you, you just so distracted and wanting to leave your desk and do all those things that ran in your mind right now. It’s something else than your to-do lists.
If you follow that distraction, you realised that by the time you return to your desk as you claim it’s the time to reflect how your day has gone so far; you only find yourself unable to scrape off that items on your to-do lists. You came to a realisation that nothing is done. Literally. Nothing is done. At all.
How did I get through this? I went through various try and error just to find ways to hack my afternoon slumps.
The first step to how I get to stop the afternoon slump is, I applied the 5 Second Rule. I first found out about it from a Youtuber, Amy Landino from Columbus, Ohio. She adopted this method from Mel Robbins who is an amazing speaker, life coach and the author of 5 Second Rule. Whenever I felt like my body isn’t want to leave the comfy bean couch or my bed (I love my bed!), I will just count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and go! I take my butt off and start doing what I was planning to do and should be doing. This may not be going to work if you don’t really set your mind before you even count the 5 seconds. It works for me. It does give an impact to me personally, especially when I feel the slump and not feeling as productive as I should be.
Do Not Watch Netflix Alone
I learnt this tip from a UK Youtuber, Ali Abdaal who tries to juggle his time between his 9-5 and creating content on Youtube. He said that he created a rule that he will only watch Netflix with someone and not alone. So in the afternoon, usually when I work from home or plan to do some work, I would not turn on Netflix if there’s no one at home.
Read Non-Fiction Books
It is totally easy to lost focus after lunch and our motivation level goes down as the slump game is strong, I will usually flip through non-fiction book and read at least 2-10 pages. Reading through motivations and self-help book usually help me to re-energize and brings my focus back to work. When you read and motivated by other people’s story in achieving their goals, you get pumped up and just want to get back on track ~~ at least for me, it works.
It’s a method that I applied ( I forgot who introduced me to this method before) and it’s been helpful especially when I am working on a huge project that has a lot of tasks and sub-tasks. It is a technique that forces you to focus on completing one task at a time within a 25 mins time boxing. The beauty of this technique is that it allows you to take a short break of 5-10 mins and another 10-15 mins after you completed the second slot of 25 mins. This is really working in which I could give permission to myself to “procrastinate” on my Instagram or watch Youtube during the break. When the break time is up, I make a hard stop and continue my work.
Quick Walk Around the Building
I learnt this from my boyfriend, he loves to get out of his working space and take a quick walk around the office area or at least from his working desk to the pantry. Usually, he made that stepping out time to vape as a reward after half-hour of working or sometimes an hour. You can choose to have a walk around the block if you are working from home, get on your spin cycle while you taking a call or just a round of walk at the park nearby your place. Move, as long as you are taking a break from your desk.
Write a Journal
Writing a journal has been really helpful for me especially if you are like me, who are a type of person who always has thousands of thoughts and ideas running at light speed in my mind. I usually do Morning Pages first thing in the morning but I also carry a small pocket size journal that I call as an Idea Journal to jot down my random ideas that came across my mind. Even if I thought of “cleaning my toilet”, I will just write it down. You can always come back to that list when you are reflecting the day in your Bullet Journal.
What’s Done List
“What’s Done” list is something that I normally write at the end of the day in my Bullet Journal. But the end of the day may be too far as the afternoon slump is taking over my motivation. So I find it really helpful by writing down what I have done to help re-focus me on my work. By writing down “What’s Done” list, I am able to make a quick comparison to my to-do list; maybe to find out that things that I did not plan to do were on the “What’s Done” list. If that happens, it gave me the realisation, “Like hey, how did that come into what I have done? There’s so much more to do and I have not done it!”. This motivates me to return to my work and get the actual thing to be done instead. Quickly my mind change to,”Get to work, girl!”
5 Mins Desk Cleaning Challenge
My favourite girl, Amy Landino introduced this to me on her Youtube channel. If you are using the Promodoro Technique, it is, even more, easier for you to just set yourself for another 5 mins break to clean your desk. It’s time to put everything back to its container, adjust the books to where it belongs to, use the wet wipes to clean off your desk. Now, cleaning your desk should not be taking more than 5 mins, because if you do it just means that you got to schedule a time on your calendar to clean that spot! It means it is not a 5 mins challenge anymore.
5 Mins Browser Tabs Cleaning Challenge
Remove all those 100 tabs of opened email or Google pages that you opened before lunch. Believe it or not, having multiple tabs opened on your browser does cause you to be distracted especially during your afternoon slump.
Well, that’s all 9 steps that have been working for me and I hope you can take away some of it to help you hack that afternoon slumps. Make sure that you start your day more intentionally so that you won’t slip off your to-do list and being more productive.
Till next time, xx!