Let’s set your Scene
It’s Tuesday morning, you’ve come in to work with exactly the right attitude. You have worked your damn butt off all morning, you start to notice how incredibly productive you’ve been and congratulate yourself throughout the early parts of the day.
You have done all the right things… You are being a generally awesome employee.
Que the confetti at 11 am!
However, there’s no getting away from it, you look up and time feels like it has literally FROZEN. Is my computer stuck? Have the batteries run out on the office wall clocks… All of them??
Pauses between tasks have started to feel like the longest moments of your entire life, despite numerous coffee’s, tea’s, trips to the water fountain, or in fact anything at all that gets you away from your desk, even checking that your work-mate’s stapler hasn’t run out of staples??
You’ll do anything to move time along just that little bit quicker, but STILL, after the pointless wandering about the office tasks have all been executed – It will inevitably turn out that less than 5 minutes has passed.
WILL THIS DAY EVER END!? SOS! HELP!
Here’s the ‘it’s not you it’s me’ moment.
It is in all seriousness, it’s actually not you.
This is what the ‘office goers’ know as ‘the 3 pm slump’ aka the graveyard hour.
What is the 3 pm slump?
You’ve eaten lunch, your caffeine has worn off, you have used a lot of your attention span on your morning tasks… You now just feel like you want a nana nap.
It’s OK, we have ALL been there. Asking your body to concentrate for 8 hours straight sat in one spot, is actually a fairly tall order! Our bodies and minds are pretty amazing that they can even do such a thing.
There are a couple of things you can do to get yourself back into the zone when you feel yourself mentally checking out and staring blankly out of the window.
1. Compete with someone about a work-related task
It sounds silly but honestly, try it. Do you need to make a certain number of calls? Are there X amount of emails you need to plow through? Have you got any KPI’s or targets you need to achieve? Be the motivator! Motivating the people around you is actually one of the most effective techniques to motivate yourself.
2. Get up out of your chair and do squats, stretches or lunges
You may worry about looking totally crazy. Perhaps it’s a fairly professional office. Maybe you are concerned that this is fairly odd behavior for an office. I’ve trialled it out for you already. Some people will stare and potentially think you are a bit weird, but in all honesty WHO CARES? Your boss will be pleased when you explain it’s to re-energize yourself so that you can work harder, your teammates will get a laugh out of it, but then probably join in because you are having fun! It also works, the blood starts pumping around the body and you’ll notice your focus return.
3. Trusty, trusty old caffeine. This is my last resort.
If you have already tried to compete with everyone, you have already done your office squats and lunges… And you are still not out of your 3 PM SLUMP, it’s time to reach for the caffeine. Be warned, this will not end the graveyard hour. It will, however, give you the pick me up you need to plow through and get stuck into something to take your mind off of the graveyard hour. Once you make it to 4 pm, things will return to normal.
Having step one and step two handy when you find yourself stuck in the 3 pm slump may save you some serious clock watching throughout your future career! They have saved me multiple times and actually have become quite an effective tool that I use regularly and a number of colleagues have mimicked over time. Try it out!
Share YOUR top tips for beating the slump!