Everyone's been there. You just finished lunch and the thought of getting work done is ruining your life. Doctors, lawyers, plumbers and online tech reporters have all experienced these scientifically-backed phenomena, colloquially known as “slumps”.
We were fortunate enough to get in contact with a few budding and experienced entrepreneurs to talk about the best way to bust a mid-day slump. Here are some of their favorite methods:
Moving around can go a long way, particularly when you're Jeremy Young, founder and CEO of Tanga, one of the fastest-growing online marketplaces in the country.
“Get up and move! Rising out of my chair and getting some physical activity gets the oxygen flowing back to my brain and it busts the slumps every time,” says Young.
Don't forget the importance of a little peace and quiet. Just ask Gregg Parise, CEO of Events.com, a San Diego, CA-based SaaS startup connecting people with experiences they love.
“I like to step away to a quiet room for 10 minutes and meditate with the assistance of my favorite app, Headspace. Keeping my mind and body synchronized is incredibly important to me,” says Parise.
If you're feeling sluggish, maybe it's your diet. Alex Membrillo, founder and CEO of Cardinal Web Solutions, a digital strategy agency based in Atlanta, GA thinks you need to head on over to the farmer's market to bust your slump.
“Americans eat way too much filthy food which puts them into a coma after lunch. I make sure to always have a salad for lunch and a workout in the morning, that way I have energy until about 3 PM,” says Membrillo. “At that point, I'll have some caffeine to push me through until about 5 PM when I go home to take a break from work.”
During some slumps, your inner child just wants to come out. That's why Jonathan Spier, CEO of PLAE, loves to have fun. PLAE is a tech-driven lifestyle brand for kids in 600+ retail partners in 27 global countries.
“First thing I reach for is the Nerf gun and an intended victim,” says Spier. “This usually ends up igniting the rest of the office to join in, whether they like it or not. It's every man for himself at that point.”
If you usually stay focused with classical music, maybe you need to pump some energy through those speakers. Jennifer Love, founder and CEO of Love Consulting, has just the thing.
“If the mid-day slumps hit after lunch, I change my music to 80s,” says Love. “There's nothing like the Dazz Band, Michael Jackson's PYT, or Earth, Wind and Fire to wake you up.”
The importance of reading is not lost on Darren Boyd-Annels, founder & CEO of Joosr, an app that helps busy people to read faster. The app is a mobile library of book summaries on topics such as business, economics, parenting and leadership.
“I like to read a business book whilst having lunch,” says Boyd-Annels. “This gives me a break from a computer screen and stimulates me to think of new ideas that I can apply to my business.”
When science says that a nap can help, you have to believe it. Just ask Dr. Robert S. Rosenberg, a board-certified sleep medicine physician and author of The Doctor's Guide to Sleep Solutions for Stress & Anxiety.
“As for short naps of no more than 30 minutes, that can go a long way in preventing the post-lunch circadian dip,” says Rosenberg. “You know, that overwhelming sleepiness that is so common in the afternoon.”
If you feel inclined to do a little gossiping at the office, there's nothing wrong with that according to Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo, founder of Bath, Body and Candle Moments.
“If I'm stuck at work and in my mid-day slump, I'll spend 10 minutes casually talking with a co-worker,” says Fusaro-Pizzo. “Some human interaction goes a long way for mental health and rejuvenation.”
Network (with Candy & Coffee)
If you really need a shift, networking is an excellent change-of-pace activity that will get the blood moving. Plus, some sugary supplements never hurt Santare Slavinskiene, cofounder of a new fashion/tech brand DIZAIND.
“Try coffee and dark chocolate and use this time for networking. Caffeine and interesting conversation will wake you up,” says Slavinskiene.
In the words of Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari, sometimes you just have to “treat yo' self.” Just ask Hope Brookins, owner of The Brookins Agency, an event planning agency for online brands and personalities.
“My secret to finding motivation when all hope for a productive day seems lost is rewarding myself when I complete tasks on my to-do list,” says Brookins. “This starts with the promise of a reward before the task is even completed.”
Don't let slumps own your work day. Sometimes, you just have to remember why you come to work every day. At least, that's what Steven Aldrich, Chief Product Officer at GoDaddy, thinks.
“I read a customer review of a service my team has launched,” says Aldrich. “Good or bad, it gets me fired up to get back to helping make the service better.”
It's been said before: you just need to get your blood moving. But if you can't exercise or even stand up, Conor MacCormack, CEO and cofounder of Mcor Technologies, a 3D printing manufacturer, has a unique solution for you to try.
“Chewing gum is a trick of mine,” says MacCormack. “It increases your heart rate and gets blood flowing to the brain. I find a simple stick of gum decreases fatigue and keeps me sharp during a slow day.”
Make your slumps work for you by changing gears. CEO and owner of Castle Windows, Chris Cardillo says that you'll be more organized than ever.
“If I hit a lull, I will consolidate my to-do lists and pick a few of the items that seem relatively easy to complete,” says Cardillo. “Once I get those ‘wins' out of the way, I move on to the other tasks.”
Play with Animals
If you have a pet, both of you probably need to get energized. You'll be smiling ear to ear when you take this advice from Ryan Farley, cofounder and chief operating officer of LawnStarter, an Austin, TX-based startup that helps people find, schedule, pay for and manage lawn care services.
“Every workday, I take time out to play with my dog, Trevor, or take him for a walk,” says Farley. “In the middle of the day, it gives me energy, makes me happier and puts a smile on my face. At the same time, Trevor gets the exercise that he needs.”
Being a sports fan means motivation is just a highlight reel away. Asaf Peled, founder and CEO of 90Min, the largest football (soccer) media and technology company, is a huge San Antonio Spurs fan and he busts mid-day slumps with their help.
“When he hits a slump and is overwhelmed with work, he will take a break and refocus by watching highlights of the Spurs in the middle of the day,” says Dori Busel, a representative for Peled. “He finds it helps him relax and helps him reset his mainframe to jump back in.”
Productivity can often be waiting for you in the next room. Sagi Gidali, the cofounder and CPO of cyber security SaaS tech startup SaferVPN, thinks a different atmosphere can go a long way.
“Whenever I feel the mid-day slump, I try to switch up my environment,” says Gidali. “I find doing brainstorming sessions outside with my team, for example, is a great way to change my atmosphere and inject some energy and inspiration back into my day.”
“I often work from home, so sometimes I'll just pause to wash dishes or do laundry,” says Fusaro-Pizzo. “Doing something methodical and un-calculated relaxes my mind, while simultaneously getting chores finished.