Archive for June, 2012

4 Quick Tips for Beating the Midday Slump

Monday, June 11th, 2012

COFFEE

If you work from home—whether you’re a graphic designer, coach or consultant, a virtual administrator, or a freelance writer like me—you’re probably no stranger to the dreaded midday slump. The signs are impossible to miss: as the clock creeps toward late morning or early afternoon, your eyes get heavy, your brain gets foggy, and it’s all you can do not to crawl into bed.

Many people rely on caffeine or energy drinks for a quick midday perk-up. Unfortunately, these short bursts aren’t usually enough to sustain you for the rest of the day. Instead of reaching for artificial stimulants, try one of these quick refreshers to get back on your game and finish your work with energy to spare.

1. Grab a change of scenery

Instead of having lunch at your desk, prepare and eat the meal in another room, or even outside if the weather’s nice. Staring at the same four walls for hours at a stretch gets monotonous, which leads to sleepiness.

If you absolutely have to work through lunch, at least take a few minutes to walk into another room, where you can stand up, stretch, and take a couple of deep breaths before returning to the grind.

2. Take a mind break

It takes a lot of focus and concentration to stay disciplined and productive while working from home. Once your mind gets tired, your body will follow suit. When you start feeling sluggish, mentally or physically, try tuning out work for a few minutes by playing a quick round of your favorite online game.

Another way to give your brain a rest is to call up a friend and have an actual conversation. The simple act of talking to another human being helps to get your brain cells firing again, and gives you a restorative respite from work.

3. Treat yourself to a nap

One of the best perks of working from home is relative freedom, and no clock to punch. This means you can indulge in a nap here and there—but don’t actually go to bed. Instead, grab a 10- to 20-minute snooze in your chair. Any longer, and your nap will have the opposite effect of leaving you groggy for the rest of the day. You can set the alarm on your cell phone, or just program an online alarm clock right at your desk (so you can’t cheat and hit the snooze button). Try this one.

4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Water does wonders for your energy levels. Keep a large bottle at your desk (a half-gallon plastic juice bottle, rinsed out, works perfectly) and try to get through two of them every day. And to combat midday slump, splashing cool water on your face is wonderfully reviving.

Other than chugging Red Bull, what’s your favorite trick for clearing out the afternoon cobwebs?