7 Ways to Power Through the Afternoon Slump

Put down that fifth cup of coffee, you don’t need it anymore. We all have the mid-afternoon slump, for many people everyday, but the solution is not more caffeine and sugar. Yes, it probably works (most of the time), but you don’t need to fuel your frustration with peaks of energy followed by an even worse crash just before you go home. Use these tips to stay productive and motivated throughout the work day:

Stretch or take a quick trip outside. Stand up, touch your toes, stretch your arms, and walk the perimeter of your office around 3:00 everyday. It will take less than five minutes, and you won’t have that aching in your back anymore.

Jog before lunch. If you’re very active (or at least want to be), consider spending ten to twenty minutes of your lunch hour on a brisk jog near the office. Similar to your late afternoon stretch break, this will loosen your muscles and keep you more alert. It’s best to fit your jog in before you eat, to avoid post-meal running cramps.

Plan your lunch and snacks ahead of time. Energy levels usually lower after a big or carbohydrate-rich meal. If you usually go out to eat for lunch, it’s easy to buy whatever is quickest and easiest. But, if you pack a healthy lunch, and snacks throughout the day, you’ll feel your energy levels stabilize.

Play music. The silence, or the mechanical buzz of keyboards and clicks, can be mind-numbing. Play some upbeat tunes throughout the day to liven the mood. And if your coworkers have the same taste in music (or don’t mind an instrumental playlist), ask if they’d like you to play it out loud.

Collaborate with your coworkers. Speaking of coworkers, you must remember that they are going through the same treacherous mid-afternoon slump you are. Strike up a conversation, or ask someone to work on a project with you for an hour if they’re not busy. Engaging with others helps you stay focused, and can add some variety to your routine.

Drink plenty of water. Dehydration is a major factor in drowsiness and poor mood. It can cause headaches, loss of focus, and make your muscles cramp. The FDA recommends you drink 64 ounces of water everyday. Fill up four 16 oz. water bottles the night before, and take them to work so you’ll remember to drink enough throughout the day.

Get a standing desk. Standing desks are the new craze for office comfort. They are proven to help with hip strain and back problems due to posture. Of course, you’ll also want a chair for when you need to focus, or if you start to feel sore. But a few hours standing in the afternoon may do wonders for your energy levels and overall fitness throughout the day.

If nothing else works, one cup of coffee won’t kill you. But try to avoid it if you can!