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10 ways to battle the 3.30pm slump

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Are you feeling sluggish? Can you feel your lunch digesting? Yep, you’ve got ‘3.30-itis’.

It can be hard to struggle through the afternoon on a full stomach at the end of the week, but here are 10 ways you can at least attempt to revive yourself for the remainder of the work day.

1. Call a family member or friend

Sometimes a five minute call to my fiancé or a friend works to help lift my spirits if I’m feeling unproductive. Call your husband, wife, kids or a friend and see how it makes you feel in the middle of an afternoon slump.

2. Go outside into fresh air or sunshine for 10 minutes

Take a walk around the block. Or better yet, if your company offers gym facilities, go and do a super quick 20-minute run. It’s better than nothing and will have you feeling reinvigorated in no time.

3. Take a break and plan something for your weekend

Book a haircut, arrange a brunch with friends or organise delivery of some furniture you just bought. Spending a few minutes thinking about what you’re going to do on the weekend because planning ahead can be just the boost you need to push you through 3pm.

4. Instead of taking a smoke break, brush your teeth

Not only does it make you more pleasant to talk to in the afternoons (no more coffee breath!) it’s also symbolic of removing decay and other bad things, according to Forbes.

5. Check your Facebook

Or Twitter, or whatever other social media site you use. Or, if you’re like me, spend 15 minutes catching up on news, reading a blog you’ve been meaning to look at all week, or finally respond to an email from a friend. Sometimes a mental distraction is needed just as much as a physical one.

6. Pop some mints

Anything with a minty flavour is stimulating and the act of chewing is also invigorating for your body.

7. Send a funny YouTube clip or link to a colleague

Deputy editor Sabrina Zolkifi and I do this almost every day. It’s important to encourage people not to look at what you’ve sent them until they’re free to do so, but sometimes taking a five minute break to watch comedian Aziz Ansari explain why Generation Y are like the most hated font ever (NSFW language) or read the most hilarious “dad jokes”, is the best way to have an afternoon giggle.  

8. Eat something good for you

I’m going to say something hugely hypocritical now and tell you all to put away the chocolate! The sugar rush will have you feeling good for approximately 30 minutes before you feel sluggish again. Eat something low-GI so the energy will be released slowly into your blood stream.

9. Grab a coffee with someone

Call someone who works near your office and ask if they have 15 minutes to go grab a coffee. Caffeine boost + quick chats with a friend = winning formula for afternoon productivity.

10. Organise your desk

I will try just about anything to avoid doing this, but the truth is it’s a relatively mindless task that keeps your brain occupied on something else other than work for a few minutes. Plus, you will have a clean desk afterwards. Finally!  

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Rebecca Lewis
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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