Happy Sunday everyone ! ☕️
In order to begin next week on the right foot, today’s blog post is a productivity talk where I share some life hacks with you.
Deciding that you are going to be more productive and efficient usually leads you – if you’re like me – to google every topic possible related to productivity. When I started to research this topic, the first articles I stumbled upon were probably about mornings : how it is important to get up early, and the necessity of being organized and having a routine to start your day right.
Similarly, a lot of people praise the importance of night routines, especially people who want to get to bed earlier or who want to lay out every thing they will need for the next day to avoid to dreadful morning rush. But what about being prepared for your afternoon ?
We’ve all experienced the familiar energy post-lunch slump. You know, that 3pm crash where you just want to take a nap or watch a TV show slouched on your sofa. But what if I told you that your afternoons can be improved ? Having an afternoon routine is the opportunity to continue a successful morning right into the evening, so your entire day is actually supporting your best life choices.
It seems more difficult to have a routine planned for afternoon because unlike mornings or evenings, your afternoons are usually hardly the same from one day to another. Indeed, it is more challenging, however you can still try to implement some general directions to guide you. Concretely, what does it mean ?
1. Have a punctual lunch
I try to eat lunch at the same time every day, usually around 12-12:30, for two reasons. First of all, it is healthier for your body to eat at the same time every day, and secondly because I know I have the same amount of time available after finishing my lunch and before evening which makes things easier to plan for.
2. Out of sight, out of mind !
Once I’m done eating, I like to do my dishes right aways because I know it only takes a few minutes to do and I’ll be happy to have done it right away rather than wait until the evening when everything is stuck to the plate and thus harder to get off. It also makes me move around the house instead of slipping into a post-lunch lethargy. Don’t hesitate to pick a few stuff up and put them away so that your work space is clear and tidy.
3. Find your energizing – and healthy – reward
I don’t usually have coffee in the morning, I’m all about green tea with my breakfast. I find having a coffee after lunch to be the perfect time because the caffeine helps me beat the lethargic state I might fall into after my meal by providing me energy. It also is kind of a dessert because I usually make a big cup of latte, with cinnamon, or chai spices, or toffee drizzle… And finally, it is a good reward for having had a productive morning as well as an encouragement to keep on the good work for my afternoon.
I’m all about coffee, but of course feel free to choose your healthy energizing reward : tea, a piece of dark chocolate, dried fruits…
4. Work, work, work
Now it is around 1:30-2pm, so it’s time to get working. Just dive into what you have to do without questioning yourself or you will always find a loophole to avoid doing it.
5. Clear your mind
You know how important breaks are. You need to clear your mind before being able to go back to your work tasks. So schedule it, no matter what : have a cup of tea or a healthy snack, read a chapter of a book, read a blog post… Anything that you enjoy. And if you are feeling extra stressed, focus on your breathing and meditate, trust me, it is like a power nap but much more efficient !
6. Move your body
The best afternoon habit is probably to move your body to replenish your energy levels after being sat down for a couple of hours. Do some light stretching or yoga for 10 or 15 minutes, go for a short walk outside, or even do an intensive 10 minute workout if you are super motivated (you have a lot of videos on Youtube depending on whether you want to do arms, abs, legs, full body…). The ideal compromise can also be to schedule meetings around the time you want to take a break so that you actually have to go outside to meet people and then you can get back to work more at peace.
7. Know when to stop
This advice is pretty self explanatory : taking breaks are helpful to help you get your work done effectively, however there is only so much breaks can do. When you just can’t work anymore, just stop: do not try to push your limits because that will only make it harder for you to continue working the next day, especially if it is on the same project. You will feel tired and fed up with it. So just listen to your body and your mind. Learn to know when to stop and get ready for the evening: shower, remove your make up, cook, put on your pjs… Whatever signals to your brain that you are off work.
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What are your strategies to be productive in the afternoon ? Share them in the comments !