- Many people experience an energetic immersion around 2PM as stress hormones and blood pressure drop.
- Some experts say it’s like trying to get the job done after a few drinks.
- Taking a real break out or jotting down some new ideas can help you get through the 2PM drop.
- Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.
If you’ve ever started a productive day armed with a coffee and a detailed list of things to do, only to find yourself losing steam by 2 or 3 PM, you’re not alone. The afternoon afternoon is true.
This energy immersion is so accentuated that you can even try to get the job done after a few shots of whiskey, according to Russell Foster, president of circadian neuroscience at Oxford University.
Mackenzie Sweeney, that happens @ the.productivity.coach on TikTok, shared Foster’s discoveries in a multiparty series on neuroscience and productivity. She told Insider that not all times of the day are created equal when it comes to getting the job done.
The change in performance between your peak and low point for productivity may be equivalent to the effect of the legal beverage limit, Sweeney said in the video. It takes between two and four drinks in an hour to get to the blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, at which point an adult is considered too drunk to drive.
“Essentially, between deep work time and the 14-hour feeling‘ I want to drag myself into a forum, ’it’s the equivalent of trying to do the job with drunken glasses,” Sweeney told Insider.
Your body and your brain could be liquidated in the afternoon
At your peak, you have your hormones and blood pressure working on your side. Both rise and fall according to a circadian rhythm of 24 hours that can follow a a few different models.
Sweeney advises people to do work that requires deep focus when both cortisol and blood pressure are high. You may feel less alert as you fall through the day, and when combined with fluctuating blood sugar after lunch, you are more likely to feel tired and foggy in the afternoon.
Taking a real break is the key to restarting your productivity
For those who feel their energy starts to fade after lunch, taking a break at some point between 2 and 3PM can save your afternoon.
When Sweeney says pause, she’s talking about a hard drive – which means shutting down your computer, moving your body, and going outside if you can. If you can leave your phone at home or in a different room, try to unplug everything from technology.
Have some physical activity is sunlight it’s likely to run out of your energy, and taking a break from work will make you feel cool when you get back to where you left off.
If you have no choice but to push yourself to fatigue after noon, Sweeney has suggested changing the type of work you do. She tells her clients to brainstorm or approach creative activities when they are tired because they may be less likely to guess.
“The time you have an idea is not the same time you have to act on that idea,” he said in another Video TikTok.