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5 strategies to burst through the 4pm flop

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Fiona Tate | Jul 24, 2018 | Photograph by: Stacey Rozells

You’ve powered through your day.  You’ve sent emails, made phone calls, and written reports.  You only have one more work hour left in your day, two at the most.

And then it hits.

At 3:55pm, all of a sudden, you slide down in your chair, yawn, and realise you’ve been staring out the window for the last five minutes.

The 4pm flop has arrived.


Is the afternoon slump avoidable?

Well…you could always have a nap at 3:45 and sleep through the 4pm flop.

Actually, that’s not as crazy as it sounds.  A recent article published by Entrepreneur.com cited a study that found having a nap during the day can increase your productivity.  However, you probably don’t want to do it at 3:45pm.  Midday is a better idea.

Also, if you’re going to have a midday nap, you’ll have to set an alarm, as you don’t want to sleep too long and find you’re groggy when you wake up.  And make sure you’re in a comfortable position, you don’t want to wake up with a crick in your neck.

If a nap’s not a good idea or a practical solution for you, you can always try one of the following.


1. Increase your magnesium level

The recommended magnesium intake is around 400mg.  You can take magnesium as a supplement or you can get it from bananas, chicken, legumes, nuts, and green leafy vegetables.  Be careful not to take in too much magnesium however, as that may give you some nasty side effects.


2. Have a lunch full of iron

Iron turns glucose into energy.  So which foods are full of iron?  Wholegrain breads and cereals, nuts, green leafy vegetables, lean red meat, chicken, eggs, fish, and legumes.


3. Go for a walk

This might be easier to manage than taking a nap, depending on your office culture.  Getting some fresh air is a natural energy booster, and as an extra bonus, helps you keep fit and manage your weight.


4. Limit caffeine, sugar, and alcohol

You knew it was coming, didn’t you?  Sorry, but there’s no way around it, I’m afraid, this stuff is bad for you.  Try a natural orange juice, or green tea instead.


5. Get enough sleep

8 to 9 hours a night is the amount of sleep recommended for an adult.  Can you honestly say that you get at least 8 hours sleep a night?  Every night?


It’s all about the balance.

You’ll notice that only one of these strategies is something you can do just before the 4pm flop hits you.  There’s a reason for that. Once you’ve succumbed to the flop, it’s all over.  The trick is to stop the flop from happening in the first place.

There’s always a temptation to knock off for the day if you start to flag around 4pm.  But you know as well as I do, that only means you’ll have to play catch up tomorrow.  The better option is to make sure your lifestyle is a balanced one.  And on those days, when you’ve been overdoing it and the nothing’s going to stop the flop?

Get out of the work space and go see some sunshine.


Need some more of where that came from?  Struggling to get motivated?  Good news!  You’ve come to the right place.  Miss Independent is your one stop source for inspiration and digital education.  Check out our article on how to ‘Forget motivation; habit is your key to success’ or join our mailing list to be the first to know when our ’employee to entrepreneur’ course launches!




Natalie Hughes founded Miss Independent in 2017, to educate and mentor women and help them make their best career and business decisions. Natalie is an experienced business woman and non-executive company director focused on organisational design, strategy, growth and innovation. Her goal is to help you think differently, work differently and feel in control of your own destiny.

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