How to Beat Mid-Afternoon Slump

How to beat Mid-afternoon slump, woman sleeps at computer

Everyone has been hit by mid-afternoon slump but most don’t know how to beat it. Yesterday my body experienced a perfect storm of exhaustion; a few sleepless nights and a food coma crash after lunch while a low-pressure system with unsettled weather rolled in. Super sleepy, my heavy head slumped. I had so much to do. It was still only the middle of the afternoon. I needed to wake up!

I tried everything to fight it off.

I drank caffeine. I took a nap. Then I walked outside. Three times. When that didn’t work, I took a shower. I looked longingly at my bed and then JUMPED UP AND DOWN! Seriously, up and down.

That helped a little, but when I sat down and looked at my computer screen, my heavy lids sagged again. Dang!

Sleeping on my computer in office

My plans had included revising a few chapters in my current novel, finishing a blog post, and making a couple of pins for Pinterest. I enjoy these tasks, but my body wanted to crawl back in bed and bury my head in the covers.

I decided to change where I worked. Maybe that would help. I took my computer upstairs to my desk. Above it hangs a bulletin board. One of my notes listed Long-Term Goals.

Long-Term Goals

I read through them. Hmm.

Then I wondered what made them, Long Term. Emails and a few phone calls wouldn’t take long at all. I’ve had this same list for months now.

I had an AHA moment.

This was my Procrastination List! It should have been titled:

List of Things I DON’T Want to Do!

I reeeeeeally want to progress and move toward my ultimate goals. These are the baby steps I need to make, so I asked myself why? Why am I putting these things off?


I’m afraid of pressing send on query letter nudges since I may get a rejection. In other cases, I would put myself in unfamiliar territory where my confidence lacks.

What is that???

I write about facing fear all the time. What a hypocrite!

Opening my laptop, I formulated a nudge letter. As I readied myself to press send, I noticed something.


My heart pounded, my hands shook and my brain had become super-focused on making sure I hadn’t messed up with a typo. Wow.

Just think of what this means! Every time I get a heavy head, I’ll consult my list. My desire to wake the hell up is stronger than my subconscious fear of rejection or being uncomfortable. All I have to do is pick one and whoa!

Bodies respond with a hyper-flow of stress signals. 

So here’s what you do. BEFORE your next mid-afternoon slump.


It could be anything. Everyone’s list of fearful tasks will be different.

Maybe you need to rehearse asking for a raise. Contact the big boss to have a meeting. Make an appointment to interview for the dream job of your life. Call someone you really don’t want to talk to for whatever reason. Volunteer to be a public speaker. *gulp*

Everyone’s PL is going to be different.

Just thinking about these things will put you in a fight or flight state of mind.

Actually doing them will take that stress ball and turn it into a rush. I had to get up and move to wear some of it off. Ha! Talk about a physical reaction and it was so simple.

How to beat mid-afternoon slump the easy way:

So, when your head becomes a thirty-pound bowling ball and you need toothpicks to keep your eyes open, check out your Procrastination List. Pick something HARD. Really hard. Something that puts you on the spot. Something where you could be rejected or humiliated or both. Take steps to accomplish that goal.

Then let me know if you still want to take that nap.  

Do you get sleepy during the day? Do you have a Procrastination List? Have you been stressed out and then had to run around after pressing send?

Click for more adventure the Wild Ride.

Related posts:

Pantsing While Plodding Toward Publication

10 Reasons Why a Challenge is Worth the Whiplash


62 thoughts on “How to Beat Mid-Afternoon Slump

Add yours

  1. Apparently apples are really good for combating this, better than coffee for wakening you up, wish I could cite the reference for this, but I’ve forgotten – it was proper medical advice though.


  2. Wow! And OMG! I too have a loooong list of ‘to-dos’. (I don’t call them goals, long-term or otherwise, but same diff). And I just realized that I will probably never ever ‘do’ these ‘tos’! I will either label them properly as procrastinations, or I will just erase them all. Can’t decide!


  3. Oooh, I needed this post. I’m a terrible procrastinator and I know fear and low confidence play a role. Which, like you, I talk about a lot and am a major cheerleader for others, so then I spiral into guilt and self shame. It’s an ugly (former Catholic) habit. LOL. I’m going to give this a try, Susie! On a plus, I am writing this afternoon!


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