Tip of the Week: Follow These 4 Tips and You Won’t Need an Afternoon Nap
It’s not an uncommon phenomenon–being at a workstation in the early afternoon seems to make even the most diligent employee suddenly sluggish and disinterested. Fortunately for the busy business owner, there are a few different strategies to help address this perfectly natural occurrence.
First, why do employees start yawning at 1:30 in the first place?
Unfortunately, there can’t be a single cure-all to prevent any and all employees from experiencing the PM slump, simply because there are numerous factors to blame for these feelings setting in. Everything from the amount of sleep an employee gets while out of the office to what they snack on at their desk can contribute to the likelihood that they begin to zone out on work time.
As such, there is no secret elixir or foolproof practice to keep workers on their A-game, as convenient as that would be. However, by encouraging the following habits and behaviors instead, you can work around this productivity deficit and possibly decrease its effects.
- Eat the right stuff, the right way. The next time you start to yawn as you type, think back to the last few things you put into your body. Was your lunch a big, dripping burger with an extra large order of steaming fries? Or was it a salad filled with lean proteins and plenty of antioxidant-filled fruits, vegetables, and nuts? Eating is about more than simply fueling the body, it’s about fueling the body with the right stuff to get through everything that’s on its metaphorical plate. If there are breakroom snacks available, opt for the healthier options, leaving the prepared and packaged stuff alone.
Additionally, do coworkers tend to eat alone, or do they group together and socialize? The stronger the interpersonal relationships are between employees, the better their work relationships will be. Or, in simpler terms, employees who share friendships will be more willing to collaborate–and will be better at doing so. Encouraging the workforce to band together at meals can help such relationships to develop, as well as help them unwind from workplace stresses, to boot.
- Consider allowing music while at work. The jury is still out on whether music in the workplace is more of a distraction or a benefit, especially depending on the task at hand and the genre of music being played. However, music does provide definite benefits to a positive attitude, thanks to the dopamine the brain releases when music is heard, which could possibly benefit focus and drive. Therefore, there are a few considerations to take into account when establishing an office music policy, but allowing them to privately listen to music might ultimately be a benefit to your workforce if you care to try it out.
- Be sure to encourage outdoor activity. There is little to no debate that some outdoor activity, especially in nicer weather, is a crucial component to general wellness. A lack of outdoor interaction can result in decreased concentration, especially in the afternoon hours. A quick walk outside during a break can help an employee give their productivity potential a quick jumpstart. If this is not a possibility, for whatever reason, providing a workspace with plenty of windows with a natural view can have a similar effect.
- Schedule smarter, in order to work better. If decreasing focus in the afternoon is a pervasive enough problem that simply doesn’t seem to change no matter what, you may consider working around the problem instead of through it. Rather than putting responsibilities that require a high level of attention on the afternoon schedule, utilize the peak attention levels of AM hours to do what needs to be done. If you have a task that takes little attention and can be fairly described as “busy work,” move that into the afternoon.
This will require some planning and forethought, and a healthy sense of where your priorities should lie. With the goal of an optimized afternoon in mind, organizing your day first thing will permit you to establish a productivity strategy when the mind is most ready to do so.
What have you noticed causes your productivity to slump the most in the afternoon? Share your answer with us in the comments!