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My 4 tips for being productive in the afternoon.

~ No coffee ~ Reset ~ Re-energize ~ Refocus


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Axel Whitford

2 years ago | 2 min read

We've all been there. It's 2 pm, you've just come back from lunch, the food is settling, the chair is comfy, and the last thing you want to do is work. Unfortunately, the papers are pilling and that to-do list won't do itself. Luckily for you, I've compiled these tips and tricks to get your energy pumping.

First tip: No Coffee

Now I know it's tempting to reach for another cup of liquid energy and power through this slump, but with great power comes great responsibility. You're probably sick of hearing "Don't drink coffee in their afternoons it ruins your sleep". This sounds like some new-age baloney because you sleep perfectly fine no matter what time you drink coffee.

This may be true, but various forms of research+ have found that even if you're falling asleep relatively easily your brain is still active, and the quality of that sleep greatly diminishes. This lack of quality is made up later the next day when your brain decides to shut down early and have a quick recharge, affecting your productivity.

Now that we've cleared up the fact you can't have coffee, what can you have? Well, tea is an excellent substitute, and can still contain some caffeine if you're looking for that, I personally pull out a pot of green tea. At this point, coffee had become a ritual to me, a reason to leave the desk and do something easy, and it was more the adventure away from the desk that I was craving.

Second Tip: Reset

Alright so now that we've decided coffee is a bad idea, what should you do? Well after working for most of the morning, eating and socializing for your break, or just getting home after the day, it's about time you reset.

You've probably built up a ton of stress throughout the day and now it's time to dump them and start the afternoon with a clean slate. There are many ways to reset and it will depend entirely on you as a person. Personally, I like to take a seat outdoors, maybe do some soft meditation/breathing. Another way if you can, is to go take a shower, refresh, and get clean.

Some people are even bold enough to attempt the fabled afternoon nap. Which for me has always been a 50/50 of feeling completely refreshed or crashing even harder, and is a risk I solemn take these days.

Third Tip: Get the blood pumping

It's time to get outside, got to remind your body who is in charge and that the sun is still shining, and it's time to get back to work. The intensity of the workout is completely up to you, a light stroll through the park or a complete one-hour powerlifting session at the gym.

Either way, contrary to popular belief the more energy your body expends the more it decides to produce. So go out there and produce a rush of endorphins that will get you through your afternoon slump

Fourth Tip: Refocus

Alright, you've reset, you got the blood pumping, now it's time to get yourself back in order. If you still have that to-do list from the morning, this is your chance to re-write it, prioritize the hours you have left in the day, and get it done.

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Axel Whitford

Software engineer in training


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