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Beat the Blahs: Twelve Ways to Kick an Afternoon Slump

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All of us are prone to feeling lazy and unmotivated during the final stretch of the workday. These ten tips will help you reboot your mental engines and re-motivate yourself to end the rest of your day on a high note.

1. Make an exciting project or plan for after work that you can look forward to. Make it as specific as possible so you know for sure that you’ll do it. (“I’m going to try out a new vegetarian recipe after work at seven o’clock” as opposed to “I’m going to cook after work.”)

2. Take a scheduled mental break to slack off and be lazy. If you feel your mind wandering, use a kitchen timer or a cell-phone alarm to schedule a ten-minute, do-whatever-you-want break where you organize your desk, email a friend, stalk someone on Facebook, or look at your favorite shameless celebrity gossip blogs.

3. Make yourself a nice cup of hot, green tea. Drinking coffee or black tea might be too much caffeine for the second half of the day, and it could disrupt your sleep schedule. Green tea has just a little bit of caffeine, and also contains antioxidants that are good for you.

4. Change up your work environment. If you work from home and can work anywhere with Internet, switch it up with a new café. If you’re stuck in a cubicle, see if you can rearrange the mess on your desk or add a new picture to your wall to give your usual office landscape a new vibe.

5. Connect with another human being. No wonder you’re feeling an afternoon slump—you’ve been staring at the computer screen all day long like a zombie. Stand up and see if you can actually connect with another human being in real time, whether it’s checking up on a coworker or talking to the barista at the coffee shop down the street.

6. Find something to laugh about.
Laughter is the best way to de-stress, re-energize, and untangle whatever anxiety or boredom you are feeling. Here’s a handy list of eight absurd and silly Internet blogs that might squeeze a chuckle out of you.

7. Make more than a plan—schedule a concrete appointment. Energize yourself by being proactive and scheduling something that you’ve been meaning to do for ages. Need a haircut? Schedule a salon appointment. Or get that dentist appointment, doctor’s appointment, car repair, or whatever appointment you need out of the way. Getting that pinned down will make you feel good and give you that second wind to finish whatever else you need to do.

8. Show procrastination who’s boss.
That email that’s been sitting unread in your inbox for more than six days? Get it out of the way. That PowerPoint presentation that was asked for two weeks ago and is now due tomorrow? Get it out of the way. Beating down procrastination is a major power-up!

9. A mini-walk around the neighborhood works wonders.
Never underestimate the power of a simple five-minute walk. Get some fresh air, look at the trees, drink up the vitamin D-making sunshine, and smile at strangers. Your drained and tired little brain will thank you.

10. Do facial exercises. It’s good for your face and it will reinvigorate you. You will also shake off that expressionless office drone scowl that you’ve been putting on for the last five hours. Check out this post for facial exercise ideas to work your face.

11. Organize or clean something.
Whether or not you believe in office feng shui, clutter does have a way of getting you down and sucking your mental energy. So if you find your mind wandering, get up and organize something, whether it’s a pile of papers that’s gone awry, or even deleting the ten useless pdfs floating around on your computer desktop.

12. See if you can reframe your attitude about what you’re doing.
It’s all about the ’tude, baby. Are you grumbling because you’re laying down bricks, or are you stoked because you’re building a freaking cathedral? Sometimes a mental makeover is the only thing you need to give yourself the boost you need.

Have other ideas for boosting your mental energy, especially in those afternoon hours when you feel slumpy and lazy? Share your ideas with the community by commenting below.

Originally published on Intent
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