9 Ways to Beat Afternoon Fatigue (Before It Even Begins)

  • 3 years   ago
Beat Afternoon Fatigue, Afternoon Fatigue, Fatigue

If you frequently feel exhausted and unmotivated in the afternoon, you’re not alone. Here is what you can do to overcome the afternoon slump.

It’s an unfortunately common issue: the afternoon slump. 

Whether or not you started your day full of energy and motivation, many of us hit a wall in the hours after lunch. Yet, there’s still so much to do before the day is over. 

If you’ve tried several visits to the coffee or espresso machine and still feel like your brain is stuck in a deep fog, you’re not alone. 

Luckily, there are several ways you can overcome the afternoon slump and conquer the rest of your day. 

Want to learn more?

Here’s an overview of what causes the afternoon slump and the best ways to avoid it.

What Causes the Afternoon Slump?

The afternoon slump is something we all experience, whether it’s every day or just once in a while. 

But what causes that annoying afternoon fatigue?

This is what you need to know:

Lack of Energy

A lack of energy seems pretty obvious. 

But did you know that this drowsy, sleepy state can be caused by factors like a lack of proper nutrition and sleep?

We’ll discuss this in more depth shortly.


Sometimes, giving something your all can drain you physically and emotionally. 

Burnout is when you’ve pushed yourself too hard, and it can result in daily slumps.


Stress has a major impact on your ability to thrive throughout the day. 

It may or may not be work-related. Often, family or other life circumstances cause stress that affects your ability to maintain the energy and motivation you need to meet your obligations.

9 Ways to Overcome the Afternoon Slump

Ready to overcome that bothersome afternoon slump that blocks your momentum and productivity?

This is what you can do about it:

1. Eat Right

Food is fuel. 

Be sure you’re getting the right nutrition throughout the day, including a breakfast that’s packed with protein and whole grains. 

Skip meals and snacks that are packed with empty carbs and tons of sugar — they’ll only cause you to crash later in the day.

2. Get Exercise

The more you move, the more energy you’ll have to tackle whatever the day might bring. 

Though it may seem difficult to wake up early for a jog or hit the gym on your lunch break, you’ll be glad you did. 

3. Take a Break 

The pressure to look busy and check items off your to-do list is real, but taking a quick break might ultimately increase your productivity. 

Even walking to the kitchen to refill your water bottle or taking a few minutes in the restroom to rinse your face with cool water can restore your focus.

4. Limit Morning Caffeine

Tempting as it may be to fill your mug with a third or fourth cup of joe, the short-term benefits of that extra caffeine aren’t worth the crash it causes later. 

5. Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to ensure vitality for the upcoming day. 

Avoid late-night socializing when you know you’ve got a big day ahead, and avoid screen time at least an hour before your head hits the pillow (blue light is stimulating and can keep you awake).

6. Spend Time Outside 

If possible, take your laptop outside for a bit or suggest a walking meeting with colleagues. 

Natural light helps keep your brain alert and can contribute to a more positive mood. 

7. Stand Up and Move 

When you’re sitting at your desk all day, you are more likely to feel groggy by mid-afternoon. 

Moving around every hour or so can combat this tendency. You might also try stretching if a stroll around the office isn’t feasible.

8. Stay Hydrated

Though it may seem logical to opt for caffeinated beverages to boost productivity, it’s better to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day. 

Dehydration is a major cause of fatigue; staying well-hydrated flushes toxins and helps you maintain energy.

9. Listen to Music

You already know that listening to music sets the tone for a great workout and helps you stay motivated when cleaning the house.

The same is true for overcoming the afternoon slump — choose music that energizes you but isn’t too distracting.

Can’t I Just Drink Coffee?

Yes and no. 

Sure, if you really need a bit of extra caffeine, you can have some coffee, black tea, or green tea to get that boost you’re looking for. 

However, it’s best to limit this habit to one cup and be mindful of the fact that you might crash later.

Other Tips for Beating an Afternoon Slump

If all else fails, you still have options. 

While daily lifestyle changes are the best way to ensure the long-term avoidance of that dreaded afternoon slump, there are a couple of other ways you can keep it at bay.

Take a Power Nap

Though it isn’t always realistic, there are times when simply laying down for a 10 or 20-minute power nap is just what you need. 

If it is necessary, keep that mid-weekday nap short. Sleeping longer than 30 minutes might make it even more difficult to wake up and rally than if you’d never indulged in shut-eye at all.

Find a Work-Life Balance

Finding the right work-life balance can be quite the challenge, but if you find yourself struggling with afternoon fatigue on a consistent basis, it’s worthwhile to try. 

Are you working long hours? Waking up early or staying up late to meet your obligations?

Do you find yourself consistently working more hours than you agreed to, such as evenings and weekends?

If so, it might be time to draw boundaries and let your boss know that you aren’t available outside of business hours. 

Ultimately, making sure you have time to rest and enjoy personal time will benefit your productivity.

Delegate and Ask for Help

It’s common to feel that you need to take on everything that needs doing, but that’s not always the truth. 

Both at home and at work, others who have the time and bandwidth to tackle part of the burden are usually glad to do it (as long as you ask the right way). 

Simply ask colleagues or family members if they’d be willing to own certain tasks, and let them know how much it would help you or contribute to a shared goal. 


The afternoon slump can be exhausting, overwhelming, and discouraging. 

But with these simple tips, you can avoid the most common factors that contribute to that post-noon fatigue.


Jill Bowers is the property manager at Industry Columbus, a luxury apartment community in Columbus, OH.