Vincy Workplace
February 1, 2013

Six ways to beat after-lunch sleepiness

It’s a common problem globally: employees go to lunch and seem to come back with molasses in their veins, productivity slows, and for some it even halts. Customers are ignored, phones are left to ring, and in many offices it seems like a social hour, as employees gather to discuss everything except work.{{more}} For an employer, this is frustrating, but most of all, it is costly, as employees are now getting paid to do nothing. To avoid this problem, here are a few suggestions.

Eat a lighter lunch. Heavy lunches kick-start the process that makes us feel sluggish and sleepy right after eating. Opt instead for lighter foods that are heavy on the vegetables and protein. Turkey is one of the protein sources that will make you feel sleepy, however.

Limit the social interaction. Nothing is wrong with social interaction, since we spend so much of our lives at work; but there is a time and place for that. Let your colleagues know you will only spend 5 minutes chatting. Anything more than that is a clear disregard for your job.

Get a sugar rush. A quick snack after lunch can give you the boost of energy you need to get back on track. Dried fruit is healthier, but a piece of chocolate or candy works just as well; just don’t over-indulge.

Do quick, short tasks. If you know your least productive time is after lunch, do not schedule large projects or work that requires total concentration during that time-frame. Work on short, quick tasks that require less concentration and have you moving often.

Take a power nap. If you have an hour for lunch, consider eating and then taking a quick 15-20 minute power nap. This will rejuvenate you immediately and get your energy level back up to peak performance.

Take a walk. A quick walk after lunch can also boost your energy. Yes, the sun may be a bit hot, but get outside and get some fresh air. If you already work outdoors, find another location where you can walk around.

Thanks to the readers who suggested this week’s column, who themselves were suffering from work slowdown after lunch and asked for this article. Appreciate the suggestion.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE
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