Your morning is operating according to plan. You're motivated, productive, and feel optimistic about the events of your life and business. It's time for lunch and afterward is when the tide starts to shift.
You begin to feel lethargic and a step slower mentally which leads to a decrease in productivity.
Before you think something is wrong with you, take a sigh of relief because the feeling is due to the afternoon slump caused by your circadian rhythm which is a natural biological process.
This afternoon slump isn't a sentence for declining productivity and fatigue nor do you have to resort to excess caffeine to finish the day out. Instead, to stay motivated, productive, and ultimately finish the day strong can become your reality through implementing these three habits.
1. Get a 20-minute walk in.
There's nothing like fresh air and sunshine to boost your mental, physical, and emotional energy when you're feeling lethargic.
Walking (especially in nature) not only gets your blood flowing, but it's a powerful instigator to revving your brain with creative ideas while forging new connections between your brain cells. In fact, when people are walking, their creative output increased by an average of 60 percent according to a 2014 study from Stanford University.
To save time and efficiency, channel your inner Steve Jobs and schedule afternoon walking meetings. Getting your body in motion creates energy and positive emotions which often times lead to various breakthroughs and problems that couldn't be solved previously.
If you happen to be walking by yourself, improve your brain through cognitive training games using tools such as Lumosity.
2. Review your mission and objectives before starting back working.
Before lunch, motivation and productivity were at a high level. However, when you come back from lunch, it's difficult to rediscover your morning rhythm. One of the biggest causes of the afternoon slump is simply due to people losing their sense of urgency. In other words, people are easing up on the gas pedal and slowing down.
Reinvigorating your motivation and not falling prey to mentally coasting is achieved through reviewing your mission (i.e. vision) and daily objectives before starting back with work. After an extended break, it's natural to be more prone to distractions and procrastination. Excess consuming combine with reactive behavior becomes the norm due to you not being mentally and emotionally engaged in your mission.
With this knowledge in mind, I open up my personal manifesto which reminds me of everything I'm working toward and where I want to be. Reviewing what you're working towards conjures up healthy feelings of guilt and a renewed sense of purpose.
Social media and YouTube don't seem as enticing after reading a document with your goals laid out.
If you haven't done so already, create urgency and pressure to your afternoons by drafting your personal manifesto which details everything you are working for. Afterward, make a commitment to read it every single day.
3. Ruthlessly guard your environment.
Your environment is critical to your mental and emotional energy. A dirty office or desk with clutter everywhere leads to a cluttered mind that isn't able to fall into deep and meaningful work. Create an environment that not only calms you but also uplifts you mentally and emotionally.
What this specific type of environment consists of differs for each of us. For some, pictures of family, kids, and destinations can help. Others may need scents that smell and exude relaxation while others need the right music to invoke empowering emotions.
Brainstorm and think of what you need in your environment from sight to objects and then include those elements as a mainstay.