You were busy all morning, accomplished a lot, and are now ahead of schedule for the day. Then comes your lunch break. After that 30 or 60 minute break away from working you feel sleepy, groggy, and just plain unproductive. You are back to drinking coffee, opening a can of soda, or trying to revive yourself with a Twix candy bar. Nothing works. You are now going downhill for the afternoon on productivity. You were ahead of the day and now you will most likely just break even. Does this sound like you? It certainly happens to me on a regular basis.
Here are a few tips I have learned for being more productive after lunch…
- Do not eat an enormous lunch. You may be starving by noon and need something to soak up the coffee that you consumed in the morning. But, eating a big lunch is likely to make you sleepier than eating a smaller, well-balanced lunch. Instead of that huge barbequed turkey basket which includes fries and a drink from the local BBQ shop, try a salad with some meat, veggies, and a light salad dressing instead. Leave yourself feeling satisfied but not stuffed.
- Cut down on the caffeine and sugar in the morning. Drinking cup after cup of coffee all morning will only cause you to crash in the afternoon when the caffeine wears off. Sugar can have the same effect, especially after eating half of a coffee cake or three Danishes. Even out or reduce your caffeine and sugar intake in the morning for better results in the afternoon.
- Take a later lunch break. Again, if you know you are more productive in the morning, then stretch your morning out a little longer. Instead of going on your lunch break at 11:30 a.m. or noon, go at 1 p.m. Not only will this give you more time in the “morning” which is your best time to work, but it will make your afternoon a little shorter.
- Get your hardest, most complicated and important work done in the morning. If mornings are your most productive times, then complete those items you deem crucial in the morning. If you save the less stressful, less intense, less important items for the afternoon you stand a better chance of obtaining your daily goals and completing all of your tasks.
- Try an afternoon pick-me-up in the form of a walk. You may feel fine getting back to work right after lunch, but by about 2 p.m. you are beginning to yawn. Try taking a short break and a brisk walk around this time. The fresh air and exercise should wake you up enough to get back to work feeling refreshed.
Keeping yourself productive after lunch can be challenging for many people. But, it is certainly not impossible. Do you have any tips or tricks that you use to stay motivated and on top of things after lunch? Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below!