Small Changes = Big Results: The Afternoon

Excited to start this series?  Me too!  I plan on implementing a few new changes myself as we go along, so I’ll be sure to report on my findings and I’d love for you to do so also either in the comments or on my Facebook page.  We can keep each other accountable!

How are your small changes going?  I’m still stretching daily and I am REALLY enjoying my lunchtime breaks – my days definitely feel more relaxing and FUN.   This week we are going to tackle one of the toughest parts of the day . . . the vs chocolate

You know . . . that time right around 3:00 where you still have a few hours of work (or a few hours before dinner), and you just really want to be DONE working.  Or maybe it’s the time your kids come home from school starving and you don’t feel like you have the energy to make it through the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Regardless of what’s going on for you at 3:00, it’s a notoriously tough time of the day for most of us.

In fact, I’m feeling a little antsy right now, so I’m taking a look at the clock while typing – it’s 3:09!  How’s that for coincidence?

Excuse me while I take a five-minute stretch break . . .

Yep, stretching is one of the small changes you can make when that mid-afternoon slump hits.  Especially if you have been sitting, it will feel wonderful to your back, arms, and legs, in addition to waking you up a bit.

What else can you try?

1.  Change course.  Been working hard, head down, since lunchtime?  Then change your course.  Each day, pick a quick 5 – 10 minute project or chore you can complete that gets you away from your desk, moving, AND crossing something off your to-do list.  Work from home?  Do a simple household chore like vacuum the family room, clean off one shelf in the fridge, or put away a load of laundry.

At the office?  Save that conversation you need to have with a co-worker for this time of day and walk down to their office instead of picking up the phone; go pick up your mail; deliver something that needs to be delivered, or just walk outside for five minutes and then take the stairs instead of the elevator as a mini workout!   Any of these can be done in a few minutes, you are moving around, it’s a break from what you were doing, and you’ll get a flood of positive energy from accomplishing something!

2.  Drink some water.  You might think you are hungry every afternoon, but if you ate a decent lunch, it’s much more likely that you are bored, and eating at 3:00 has become a bad habit.  A great way to break it is to drink a big glass of water (I like mine hot with a slice of lemon and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper).   Try this for a week or two and see if you can’t break yourself from the 3:00 snacking habit.  As a bonus, you’ll be rehydrating yourself – and very few of us drink enough water each day!

3.  Read something encouraging.  Go to the library and check out a book or two on a topic you are interested in (non-fiction if you are like me and can’t quit reading once I start a story!).  Then, at 3:00, walk away from your desk and read a chapter.  Just one – enough to feel like a break and give you something interesting to think about.  Especially if it’s an uplifting book or a fun collection of essays, this is a great way to break the monotony of the afternoon and take a “break” without actually spending a lot of time away from work.

What small change will you make this week?  Share in the comments to keep yourself accountable – and cheer each other on! I’m going to make an extra effort to accomplish a small task at 3:00 each day – along with drinking a big glass of water.  It will be nice to be able to cross some of those chores off my list so I don’t have to spend all evening or weekend completing them, and goodness knows I need to be drinking more water!

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