Afternoon Slump? How To Beat It!
It’s 2.30pm and suddenly you feel like doing nothing. And I mean nothing!
Your motivation drops to an all time low and you wonder how you’re going to get anything done in your business before dinner.
Before you give yourself a hard time, I want to be the one to remind you that it’s actually quite normal to experience this pm funk. Here’s why:
According to the Sleep Foundation, there are two systems that affect us during this time: our sleep/wake homeostasis and our circadian rhythm.
These two systems affect your body’s need for sleep. And surprise, surprise, this is what they’ve found: “On average, people feel most tired just after midnight and during the so-called afternoon slump that can occur after lunchtime.”
If you’re interested in the evidence based research around why we feel sleepy at different times of the day, the Sleep Foundation have great studies at the bottom of their page here.
That being said, there are certain things we can do to beat this funk when it shows up! And eating a whole pack of peanut M&Ms is not the answer (although very tempting at times).
I felt inspired to write this blog because it reminded me of how many times I experienced this afternoon slump during the lock down periods here in Melbourne, Australia.
Personally, it felt as if these slumps were somehow amplified for me during this time. And I’m guessing I’m not the only business owner who’s been experiencing this during the many quarantines around the world.
Today, after experiencing a little 2.30pm slump, I reminded myself of what I during the lockdown period to continue crushing my business goals despite the dip I’d experience in the afternoon.
As so many of us have been stuck at home in lockdown recently, we’ve been challenged in ways we never expected to be back before the pandemic started.
It has forced lots of business owners to work from home and at times feel more isolated and alone.
Now, maybe you’ve always run your business from home so you’ve been used to spending your days in the same space.
However, most of us have had to spend less or no time seeing friends in person, socialising or even just getting out and about for that much-needed variety.
Although I’ve been running an online at-home business for 6 years now, prior to the pandemic, I’d always spend some of my time working from cafes, taking walks, seeing a friend for lunch, going to soccer practice and soccer games during the weekend, and visiting family.
The lock downs we’ve experienced have meant that sometimes we’ve had to be stuck at home for days, weeks or months on end except for an outside walk here and there (usually involving a mask).
I remember in the second lock down in Melbourne, I was in the first trimester of my pregnancy. I was doing my best to get some things done in my business, whilst feeling really nauseous and tired throughout the day.
After about 7 or 8 weeks of working from home, not seeing friends in person, and not being able to get out of the 5km limit, I felt so stir crazy.
I was finding that I could crush some business tasks in the morning up until lunch time. But then, after lunch, I’d find myself feeling trapped in the house. And wanting to get out and do something different!
Prior to the pandemic, I was used to getting out and about, seeing friends, doing the normal things we humans do!
Suddenly, I felt trapped and isolated.
Anyway, I soon realised I had to find a way to get out of these afternoon slumps despite the challenging circumstances (being pregnant and in a lockdown).
I thought I’d share some of the key tips that got me out of these afternoon funks in hopes that it’ll inspire you to crush it again in your business too.
OK – so let’s get to it! Here are four different ways I beat my post-lunch slumps!
1) Exercise. Now – even as I write this down, I know how unmotivating it can be to hear the word when you’re in a slump.
You might also be thinking…what does exercise have to do with my business slump?!
But trust me on this one. Even when you really don’t feel like getting up and moving your body? It can seriously help you shift your state of mind.
Actually earlier today at about 2.30pm, I was experiencing a slump. I’d actually taken a mini nap (3rd trimester of my pregnancy) and I felt groggy, off and a bit down.
Even though not a single cell in my body felt like it? I dragged my laptop off my lap. Then pulled myself off the couch, walked downstairs. Put my sneakers on and headed out the door.
All I did was a 10-minute walk, but it was so helpful. When I came back, I felt refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of my afternoon.
Even though I’d already done a 30-Minute Strength Leg workout in the morning, I knew it was time to get up and move again!
The crazy thing is how much resistance you’ll experience when you decide to move your body! Especially when you have this pm slump! But it’s one of the best ways I’ve learned to recharge and feel normal again.
2) My next tip is to write down your dream future. This doesn’t have to take you a long time. You could do it in 5 minutes.
Basically, I’d suggest projecting yourself 3 or 4 years into the future, and imagine the BEST possible scenario of how your life and business has turned out.
Write down as much detail as possible so that you can almost taste and touch it!
If you could have, do and experience anything at all, what would that look like and feel like? If there were no limits and you had all the confidence in the world, what would your day to day and business look like? What would you create? What would you make happen?
Write it all down.
Ideally you’d want it to be so detailed and vivid that someone else who read it would be able to fully picture it. That’s how specific you want to make it. Make it into a movie. Make it come alive.
If you can, allow yourself to experience the emotion you’d feel if you were really there already living it. Jot down the feelings you’d have and how you’d see yourself at that point.
Whenever I do this, it reminds me of why I’m working on my business. It’s a way of connecting to the bigger picture. And look – some days you don’t need this.
But on those afternoons where you feel super unmotivated? There’s a lot of value in writing out your future vision and making it incredibly enticing.
This will give you the oompf you need to get back to your business tasks in the afternoon.
3) Something I actually did today was a game changer for me. It always beats the slump. I asked myself what are 3 tiny actions I can take this afternoon to move my business forward?
Trust me – I wasn’t in the mood to write those things down or to do them at all.
But, I also knew that I didn’t want to get to 6 or 7pm feeling like I’d wasted the whole afternoon due to this slump.
Also, having been in business for 6 years now, I know that when you’re really not in the mood and you’re experiencing a serious dip in energy and motivation? That’s actually when you need to just get to it.
Get started on tiny tasks that will move the needle forward in your business.
I’m all for taking holidays, going away on weekends, taking mega breaks during the day, and socialising, but I also know that sometimes it’s not that you need another break.
What you really need is to just kick yourself in the butt and simply get started on the next small task at hand in your business.
Weirdly the act of getting started creates a sense of relief, and you usually end up feeling a lot more fulfilled and productive than if you’d spent the whole afternoon scrolling Instagram.
So write down those 3 tiny things you could do this afternoon to move the needle forward? And then do them. Even if you’re still in a slump and feeling meh.
Trust me on this one – it’ll work. Just begin.
4) There are certain people, authors, speakers, writers, and business owners that inspire the hell out of us. And yet – sometimes we forget they exist! Guess what? Those incredible people can get you out of your slump!
So think back at a book you’ve read, a blog you skimmed, a podcast you listened to or a video you watched that really inspired you like crazy.
Sometimes we forget those exist! And yet, they can be the simplest way of getting us out of our funk.
For some reason, I love reading James Clear’s blog, it really inspires me to “get back to it”. I don’t know what it is about his writing but it always has a way of getting me back in the zone.
Someone else who seems to also do this for me is Joey Schweitzer – you can check out his videos on his YouTube Channel Better Ideas.
Finally, sometimes I resort to a classic. Aka I go back to reading a few pages of “Awaken The Giant Within” by Tony Robbins. It’s crazy how just reading a couple of paragraphs can get you to think differently.
Suddenly, your no longer in the same frame of mind. It’s as if you’ve just experienced a gear shift.
Guess what? I’m sure there are people, books, podcasts, videos, channels like that for you. That for some reason, when you read/watch/listen to them you feel GOOD again.
Well, now is the time to dive into those. You don’t have to only rely on yourself. You can use these brilliant resources around you to ignite that fire again.
Again, you might not “feel” like picking up a book or turning on a podcast, but the key here is to just do it anyway.
When we experience that afternoon slump…we tend to not feel like doing ANYTHING at all.
So, really, it does require you to just push yourself. To force yourself. When you’re in that state, it feels as if NOTHING is worth doing.
You know what I mean.
That’s a trick of the mind though. Because more often than not, if you do any of the above 4 steps? You’ll start shifting your emotional state.
Maybe not right away, but give it a little time…it should work for you too!
Now it’s your turn: I’d love to hear what you’ve done in the past to get out of an afternoon slump. I’m seriously curious – let’s inspire each other. Tell me in the comments!
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