How To Overcome Your Afternoon Slump In 40 Seconds

In the season premiere of
SHARE
THIS



Dr Amantha Imber is the founder of behavioural science consultancy Inventium and the host of How I Work, a podcast about the habits and rituals of the world’s most successful innovators. In her latest post for B&T, Dr Imber offers expert tips – even if you’re home isolating – to survive the dreaded three o’clock crash…

Three o’clock in the afternoon. It’s the time of day that sends many of us into a downward spiral. Our energy levels crash. We rummage around for biscuits or chocolate in the work kitchen. We scroll mindlessly through Facebook or Instagram. We basically do anything except for the thing we are meant to be doing: work.

Most people take it as a given that their energy will dip in the middle of the afternoon. We try to push through it, despite the fact we feel ourselves starting to fall asleep in the Very Important Meeting we are meant to be participating in.

The good news is: this crash is avoidable. And the best way to avoid it is by doing something counter-intuitive. Taking a break – but taking very specific kinds of breaks.

Have your first break early in the day

Depending on the culture of your workplace, many of us feel guilty taking breaks. Breaks can be seen as something that lazy people do. And in particular, taking a break too early in the day can be seen as the ultimate sin. However, research conducted by Emily Hunter and Cindy Wu from Baylor University discovered there is an optimum time to take your first break of the day. Hunter and Wu looked at around 100 office workers in the United States and whenever they took a break, they were asked to complete a survey.

The researchers found that those who took their first break earlier in the day felt more energetic later in the day. So stop saving your break for when you feel like you really need it, and instead, schedule a break during the morning. And if you feel like you are too busy for a break, just remember that delaying breaks until the afternoon will destroy your energy levels.

In addition, for a break to be recharging, Hunter and Wu found that workers need to do something they enjoy. For example, getting a coffee with a co-worker whose company you can’t stand would be far less recharging compared to if you were a book worm who used the break to do some reading.

Take six X five-minute breaks

Most of us have never considered what the optimal length of a break should be. Instead, the length often defaults to how long the coffee queue is or the natural length of conversation at the water cooler about Married At First Sight.

Research from the University of Colorado found that there is an optimum length of time for breaks. The researchers found that compared to one 30-minute break, hourly five-minute walking breaks boost energy, sharpen focus, improve mood and reduce feelings of fatigue in the afternoon more effectively.

While finding time for six breaks might be challenging, even getting into the habit of going for a quick walk around the block will reap reward

The 40-second power break

Finally, if you feel like your work is so busy that you don’t have time to implement any of these solutions to have a more energetic afternoon, research recently revealed that the minimum effective dose for a break is just 40 seconds. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology showed that taking a 40-second “Green Micro-break”, that is, looking at a view of greenery, increased concentration levels by eight per cent. So taking less than a minute to look at some trees will work wonders for productivity.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Dr Amantha Imber

Latest News

Anathea Ruys Named CEO Of UM Australia
  • Media

Anathea Ruys Named CEO Of UM Australia

The incoming CEO of UM Australia is Anathea Ruys. She has a 25-year international career in media business leadership and is currently executive vice president and managing director of Carat West Coast and Mid-West USA, as well as the lead of Dentsu’s West Coast office. “Leading UM Australia to its next chapter requires an executive […]

Woman holding a hashtag love heart sign and smiling. Online influencer liking concept.
  • Media
  • Technology

Influencer Platform Social Soup Launches New Division, Soup Pro

Australian influencer platform Social Soup has launched full-service solution Soup Pro, a newly created division designed to lead the way brands and professional creators work together. As the influencer marketing industry matures, brands are seeing the effectiveness and ROI of influencer marketing and redirecting their budgets with predicted global spend on this marketing channel of […]

BWM Dentsu Launches Charles Sturt Uni’s Zero-Tolerance Campaign Against Sexual Misconduct
  • Campaigns

BWM Dentsu Launches Charles Sturt Uni’s Zero-Tolerance Campaign Against Sexual Misconduct

When the Australian Human Rights Commission reported the staggering 2017 numbers around sexual harassment and sexual assaults at Australian universities – experienced by 21 per cent and 1.6 per cent of students respectively, Charles Sturt recognised the need to create change. Since then, Charles Sturt has joined 38 universities across the country in the nation-wide […]

Women Leading Tech: IntelligenceBank’s Tessa Court On Why Building A Business Is The Ultimate Form Of Creativity
  • Marketing
  • Media

Women Leading Tech: IntelligenceBank’s Tessa Court On Why Building A Business Is The Ultimate Form Of Creativity

In preparation for B&T’s women leading Tech awards, we’re speaking to some of the industry’s most inspiring female leaders. Tessa Court, CEO and Director of IntelligenceBank, told us about expanding during a global pandemic. Entries for the Women leading Tech awards close on March 1, and late entries close on March 8. Last year was incredibly challenging. […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Apparent Grows Media Division With Three New Hires
  • Media

Apparent Grows Media Division With Three New Hires

Full service agency Apparent has expanded its dedicated media division with the appointment of Phoebe Chan as head of media and advertising operations and Jaclyn Ely as client partner, media. Headed by former Naked Communications and Ikon executive John Halpin, Apparent’s media division has seen 88 per cent growth over the past 12 months across […]

Northern Territory Launches ‘Seek Different’ Campaign To Attract Interstate Travellers, Via KWP!
  • Marketing

Northern Territory Launches ‘Seek Different’ Campaign To Attract Interstate Travellers, Via KWP!

Tourism Northern Territory has launched a new national marketing campaign to celebrate the unique travel experiences that make NT ‘Different In Every Sense’. The campaign was unveiled by the Hon Natasha Fyles MLA, the Northern Territory’s Minister for Tourism and Hospitality. It is aimed at inspiring domestic travellers who are facing ongoing travel restrictions to […]

GroupM New Zealand Launches AI-Powered Influencer Marketing Platform
  • Marketing

GroupM New Zealand Launches AI-Powered Influencer Marketing Platform

The platform, called INCA, will give advertisers access to a data-driven brand engagement tool connecting them with trustworthy, relevant influencers. INCA forms part of GroupM’s suite of data-driven tech solutions for clients, with the New Zealand launch representing INCA’s expansion throughout APAC. Advertisers in NZ can now use the AI-enabled technology to partner with an […]

“Embrace Your Niche Desire”: Facebook Celebrates Personalised Ads In New Work Via Droga5
  • Media

“Embrace Your Niche Desire”: Facebook Celebrates Personalised Ads In New Work Via Droga5

As Facebook’s ongoing battle with the Australian government over the News Media Bargaining Code reaches a resolution, over in the US, the social media platform is engaged in another high-profile dispute. Facebook and Apple are currently at loggerheads over upcoming privacy changes for iOS, which will make it harder for advertisers to target users on […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
“Makes Me Sick!” Woman Filmed In Supermarket Removing G-String To Use As Impromptu Mask
  • Media

“Makes Me Sick!” Woman Filmed In Supermarket Removing G-String To Use As Impromptu Mask

A South African woman has been filmed removing her underwear to make an impromptu face mask after being warned for not wearing a mask in a supermarket. The unidentified woman was filmed standing in line at Pick n Pay supermarket when approached by the security guard. The woman then promptly removes her black g-string and […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Sunday TV Wrap: Numbers Down Across The Board In A Slow Sunday
  • Media

Sunday TV Wrap: Numbers Down Across The Board In A Slow Sunday

None of Sunday’s programming cracked the 900,000 viewer mark, though Married At First Sight was closest with 898,000 viewers, the third-best night for the series so far. After MAFS was Seven News Sunday with 862,000 viewers and Nine News Sunday with 847,000 viewers. ABC News Sunday snuck in fourth with 689,000 viewers. Nine’s night was news and MAFS focused, with 60 […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Emma Montgomery Returns To Australia As CEO Of Leo Burnett Sydney
  • Advertising

Emma Montgomery Returns To Australia As CEO Of Leo Burnett Sydney

Leo Burnett has announced the appointment of Emma Montgomery to the role of CEO for its Sydney office. Commencing in mid-March, this appointment sees Montgomery returning to Leo Burnett, where she was head of strategy in Sydney from 2014 to 2016 and later held the position of president and chief strategy officer at Leo Burnett […]

30U30: Dentsu ANZ CEO Angela Tangas – “We’re In A Good Position For Growth In 2021”
  • Advertising

30U30: Dentsu ANZ CEO Angela Tangas – “We’re In A Good Position For Growth In 2021”

After an extraordinarily challenging year for the company globally, dentsu’s Australia and New Zealand operations look set for growth in 2021, claims its regional CEO, Angela Tangas. Today is the last day for creatives to submit their late entries for the B&T 30 Under 30 Awards, presented by Vevo, with the April event just around […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ladbrokes Unveils Its Mark Wahlberg Work Via Thinkerbell
  • Campaigns

Ladbrokes Unveils Its Mark Wahlberg Work Via Thinkerbell

Ladbrokes has launched its latest brand campaign in Australia, ‘Ladbroke It’, featuring  Mark Wahlberg via creative agency Thinkerbell and production company Finch. You can check out the series of ads here. The new national campaign is aimed at making horse racing even more exciting, and sees Wahlberg star as ‘Mike Iceberg’, Ladbrokes new (CEO) Chief […]

WPP AUNZ Announces More Consolidation With The The Ogilvy Network
  • Media

WPP AUNZ Announces More Consolidation With The The Ogilvy Network

WPP AUNZ has announced a further strengthening of the Ogilvy brand, with the formation of the Ogilvy Australia Network. By closely partnering Ogilvy brand strategy and creative with opr’s PR and Communications alongside Ogilvy Health, the new formed Ogilvy AU Network will offer a stronger, more simplified and more integrated offer across the region. Specifically […]

The Shannon Company Launches ‘Speak Up And Save LGBTIQ+ Lives’ Campaign To Help Prevent LGBTIQ+ Youth Suicide
  • Advertising

The Shannon Company Launches ‘Speak Up And Save LGBTIQ+ Lives’ Campaign To Help Prevent LGBTIQ+ Youth Suicide

‘Speak Up And Save LGBTIQ+ Lives’ is the focus of the newest Behaviour Change campaign, developed by The Shannon Company. The campaign aims to prevent suicide among LGBTIQ+  people aged between sixteen and twenty-seven years, who are five times more likely to attempt suicide than non-LGBTIQ+ people. Transgender people in Australia aged over eighteen are […]

Why Everyone Is Talking About Identity Graphs
  • Technology

Why Everyone Is Talking About Identity Graphs

Identity Graphs have emerged as a way to bring customer data together in a centralised place. But when it comes to marketing and discovering new audiences, this technology is about so much more than collating data, explains smrtr’s co-founder and CTO Boris Guennewig. Identity on the internet is a multi-faceted phenomenon. It might exist in […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Finland’s Coldest Town Launches Summer Olympic Games Bid To Raise Awareness About Climate Change, Via Agencia Africa
  • Marketing

Finland’s Coldest Town Launches Summer Olympic Games Bid To Raise Awareness About Climate Change, Via Agencia Africa

https://vimeo.com/515870840. www.savesalla.com In short, we created and launched the “bid” campaign for Salla, a small town from the Finnish Lapland – and the coldest in the region - to host the 2032 Summer Games. The announcement was made on the municipality’s official social media and - as expected - caused weirdness and people started talking about it. After all, how could a super cold small town be able to host the Summer Games? Then at a press conference with the mayor of the city and specialists he revealed that the bid was indeed a climate wake-up call, aimed at drawing the world’s attention to the consequences of global warming and the need for urgent action. Since its launching the initiative has been generating a lot of buzz and gaining support from environmental organizations, activists and the general public. People from more than 60 countries have been talking about the subject, especially in a moment of industries recovery, when the sustainable growth will be essential.

Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Releases New Summer Campaign, Via Carat
  • Media

Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Releases New Summer Campaign, Via Carat

Being part of a cluttered soft drink category, Carat’s client, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, were looking to stand out across their key Summer sales period by defending not only their traditional Qld market, but also growing the southern markets of NSW and Victoria.

Riding The CTV Wave: How Advertisers Can Cash In On The Video Revolution
  • Partner Content

Riding The CTV Wave: How Advertisers Can Cash In On The Video Revolution

A year of lockdowns and stay-home orders around the world has given consumers more time than ever before to watch all the video content that is currently available across the digital world. The popularity of CTV and OTT services is at an all-time high, as viewers embrace the flexibility and viewing habits they enable. “That […]

Partner Content

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Creating Efficiencies in the Age of Consumer Privacy
  • Marketing

Creating Efficiencies in the Age of Consumer Privacy

In this opinion piece, Jess Miles, Country Manager ANZ of Integral Ad Science, reflects on the questions surrounding consumer data. The ability to collect consumer data online has revolutionised digital advertising by enabling customised targeting strategies and data collection. This reliance on data has been the cornerstone of many audience targeted strategies enabling marketers to […]

Opinion

by Kathleen Farmilo

Kathleen Farmilo
Jye Smith Named President Of Vibewire Board
  • Media

Jye Smith Named President Of Vibewire Board

After ten years of board leadership of the young entrepreneurial collective Vibewire, Founder & Co-CEO of Disruptors Co. Gavin Heaton is passing the torch to fellow strategy and creative leader Jye Smith, Founder and Director of branding and design studio DOUBLESTAR CO, who will now take over as Board President.