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?

Fear.

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.

I WAS WIDE AWAKE!

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.

Make your PROCRASTINATION LIST.

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

THINK BIG!

61 thoughts on “How to Beat Mid-Afternoon Slump

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  1. Every list I make is a procrastination list! “I want to do X, Y and Z”…and then I go off and play games and forget about it. 😛

    I rarely get sleepy in the afternoon, so if it’s too difficult to sit in front of my computer anymore, I just crash. (With my cat, if possible, since I’m just resting and not trying to sleep.)

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  2. Probably not the best person to comment on this topic. I look forward to my afternoon slump…er…ah…I mean, nap. Especially considering the pups get me up at 5:30 for their breakfast. But I love them little critters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m taking care of two wild beasts this weekend and am already yawning! I don’t mind taking one nap like you, Al, but two is one too many! Then I consult my list and get my heart pumping. Ha!

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  3. Yeah – I’m having trouble with this now that I don’t really have an excuse to go back to bed. It’s been a month since my last chemo treatment so I can’t really blame the tireds on meds any more. But, I still do experience days of extreme fatigue. I usually find some chore that I’ve been putting off and force myself to do it.Usually physical labor results in the sleepies going bye bye. And, I’ve gotten one of those yucky chores done, so score!

    Hang in there. Keep checking that list. Here’s to getting things (like books) done.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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  4. When her Highness Slumber visitseth thee in her full splendour, it’s time to terminate the connections to thy central sponge. Ignore her at thine own peril, for she forgeteth not the slight and hounds thee unto the darkest alleys of oblivion.

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  5. I fell asleep behind the steering wheel once, 1978, after a day of surfing, and then a long car trip down the Cali coast with my girlfriend one night. Sea cliffs on one side of the two lane coastal highway, and telephone poles upon the other. You only do that once, (Fall asleep behind the wheel that is) you either live through it or don’t. 3:00 am, Friday night, I and my girlfriend had such a white knuckled adrenaline rush’ a frightening experience (Planes – trains and Automobiles – Movie car spinning around on the empty freeway) we didn’t sleep for a day and a half later. Better to fall asleep at the PC, on the settee, or into your French onion soup, than in the drivers set of the car, or while piloting an airplane, or train. I’ve recently started drinking coffee. Black one sugar or nipping a small piece of French Dark Chocolate. Susie because of your double mass’, can you have tea, coffee or chocolate?

    I once did three doubles of espresso shots because they were so delicious… One quarter tea spoon of honey in each, I was messed up to say the least of it, my calf muscles were doing redundant painful spasms and man did I learn my lesson, and talk about insomnia, nothing like being totally exhausted and wired to the point of no sleep.

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    1. Wow! I’m glad you survived it!!!
      I got pulled over in Oregon and got a warning. That kept my heart beating fast for a long time.
      Yep! I just avoid anything that increases estrogen production like alcohol, soy, flax seed. Cheers! *clinks tiny cup of espresso*

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  6. Jumping up and down – HA HA. I can see that
    Front moving across? Maybe running outside to see if the sky is green with a weird noise? (Don’t lie down and close eyes in that situation – you might become Dorothy – toto substitute included.
    Sitting and reading list gets adrenaline started? Extreme focus does work….so does getting hauled down the street by an 80 pound dog…who’s frisky because the front is moving across and you need them to use the “facilities” NOW before it storms…..HAHA
    Nice post.

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    1. Thanks, Phil and for the tip about the 80-pound dog. I’m watching my daughter’s beast for the weekend and shouldn’t have a problem staying awake. It’s getting anything done that I’m worried about. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This was so incredibly useful. Mid afternoons are my nap times but I tend to oversleep. I shall put this into practice soon. Also, love your laptop stand! Must find one like that soon.

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    1. Hey Shailaja! Thanks for reading. It does work and I plan to ratchet my heart rate up a notch or two this afternoon. Ha! It’s always a good feeling to cross something off my long list.

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  8. I am under a doctor’s order to get a minimum of 9 hours of sleep a day. Preferably all at once, though that rarely happens. The afternoon sleepiness attacks are really hard because if I fight it I have an anxiety attack. If I give in I don’t sleep at night. What to do….What to do…. Dark chocolate and something to get me up and moving is what helps me the most.

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  9. I love lists. In fact, they were subject of my very first blog post (although I’ve since deleted it). There’s something about looking at a list and crossing things off it. That idea soon gets me out of a slump.

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  10. Fabulous idea! I would love to make a procrastination list. I still want my afternoon siesta on weekends but writing this list will maybe push me to do things I have been avoiding for long. 🙂

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  11. When I worked in Japan, at 3pm everyday music came on a speaker in our office, and anyone that wanted to, stood up and did rajio taiso exercises. It was really really helpful to get us moving and beat the afternoon slump! Less scary too!!

    (p.s if your curious, these are the moves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrEH5JLljDI

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  12. This is a great post! For me, I think it might be a fine line between being inspired and becoming overwhelmed. I’ll have to see if I can write an empowering, procrastination list!

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    1. You probably move around enough and have enough distraction to keep you going. I can get pretty complacent while writing all day. Have fun with your list. We all have them! Mine is huge.

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  13. Way to beat that slump. I get hit with this often and I have a variety of techniques I use to beat it, but I think yours is the most efficient way to do it because you actually get stuff done! 🙂

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  14. 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.

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  15. 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!

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  16. 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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