Do you ever experience a mental dip in the middle of your afternoon? You start your day strong, you accomplish a lot in the morning, but then your afternoon just seems to stall. As it turns out, you’re not alone. Our recent research shows that 73% of executives experience an afternoon dip 3 or more days/week. What is the impact of this on productivity? What falls through the cracks while you’re suffering from brain fog? What detail did you miss that will come back to haunt you?
The good news is that there is a cure to this problem. A great technique that can be very effective is to look at your day as two half days. You wake up in the morning and hydrate yourself, you get some movement in, you eat a high performance breakfast, you mentally prepare for the big events you have coming in the morning and the result is high performance. So why don’t you do the same for the second half of your day?
What would happen if you approached your lunch like it was the performance meal for your next 5 hours? This means you would limit your portion size, eat a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates; and eat lot’s of nutrient dense vegetables. It also means you would hydrate yourself with water and avoid high sugar drinks. Then you could take a 10 minute power nap to accommodate the normal circadian dip that makes you feel tired. Research has shown that power naps can improve productivity by up to 35% (sounds like money in the bank). Finally, you could go for a 5 to 10 minute power walk and at the same time mentally prepare yourself for your afternoon’s critical meetings. You would come back focused, energized, and creative – what a great way to start the second half of your day.
I know what you’re saying, “I don’t have time to do these things.” Funny, you sure have time to be unproductive. If this high performance ritual takes you 20 minutes that means it costs you 6% of the time you have in the afternoon. On the flip side, if you improve your performance and productivity by 20 to 35% for the afternoon, you have made a significant gain. Even better, you’d be healthier, happier, and show up at home after work with more energy and self-esteem (from everything you’ve accomplished).
If you’re tired of working full time for half time results, try splitting your day into two halves and think different about your Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery. It won’t happen by chance. Try this approach and let me know your results.
By Scott Peltin
Founder & Chief Performance Officer