The 3 pm slump is a very real thing. How many times have you felt a drop in energy, easily distracted, and unable to do any real work? This is the 3 pm slump. It’s not your imagination, either. Many of us are sitting in front of our computers all day long, and it’s difficult to stay this focused. By 3 or 4 pm, cortisol levels start to drop and you feel a major crash.
There are many ways to combat the late afternoon slump, such as by drinking water, eating a piece of fruit, or practicing breathing exercises. Another way to keep productivity levels up is by being mindful. Mindfulness reduces stress, improves happiness, and boosts efficiency. As a result, you will be able to do more in fewer hours.
Here are three great tips for putting mindfulness into action and enhancing productivity levels around the workplace.
1. Prioritize Tasks for the Next Day
When you have a bunch of things to do but no structure on how to do them, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. At the end of each day, take a few minutes to prioritize your tasks for the following day. Organize tasks based on their importance, and consider using an app to help you stay coordinated.
Give the biggest tasks your full attention in the morning when you are well-rested and alert. Save your least demanding tasks for the end of the day. Organizing tasks also lets you feel in control. When you arrive to work in the morning, you’ll see your day planned out. You can divide your focus and attention appropriately.
2. Focus on a Single Task
Multitasking is highly valued in our society, but it’s actually a misconception. People can’t concentrate on multiple tasks at once, so really, their attention is going back and forth. This is called “switching” not multitasking, and it’s not exactly a productive way to get things done.
To be more efficient, focus on one task at a time. Give that task your full attention and don’t move on until it is complete. As you get used to this, you’ll find that you can accomplish more in less time.
3. Create a Distraction-Free Environment
When you take the time to assess your working environment, you’ll find dozens of distractions cutting into your capacity. One of the best ways to put more time into your day is by reading emails and returning phone calls at a separate time. It’s so easy to check emails, we do this all day long. But, it cuts into your productivity and diverts your attention to less important tasks.
Not only should you set aside time for phone calls and emails, but also avoid social media. It’s easy to get lost in your social media feeds, but they don’t add any value to your work. Turn off notifications on your phone so you’re not tempted, and consider creating a playlist with your favorite “concentration music.”
Being mindful at work will help you feel better, particularly during the afternoon slump. If you’re ready to get more done today and be prepared for tomorrow, try our tips above!