Recently your favorite cubicle mascot was wondering about that “2:30 feeling” that we hear so much about – and anyone who works in an office for extended periods of time can relate. Maybe you don’t feel it every day, but there are definitely days when mid-afternoon rolls around and you’re hit with an immense wave of fatigue and general lack of motivation. Perhaps it’s biorhythms, perhaps it’s the realization that 5:00 is so far off, or maybe the energy boost from lunch is wearing off. Whatever it is, it’s annoying. And it’s more powerful than the fatigue felt at the end of the work day or at night. I don’t need to understand it; I just need to get rid of it. Turns out, standing up while you work can greatly alleviate the issue.
In my experiences the two minute office lap was the best way to keep me awake and focused on my tasks.
I had used similar methods to alleviate this problem in the past – a brief lap around the office, a quick sketch on my post-it note pad to stimulate the mind, and even a splash of cold water on my face. Certain call centers have employed a system where workers are required to take every other call standing up, which eliminated much of the fatigue and lethargy which was present in the office before this policy was instated. The call center reported fewer sore backs and an increase of blood flow, in turn helping workers’ concentration and focus. This all made sense; in my experiences the two minute office lap was the best way to keep me awake and focused on my tasks. Keep in mind none of this will replace getting a good night’s sleep and it won’t help you from being tired all day running on 4 and a half hours of sleep! But it could be the answer to helping eliminate that awful feeling. I don’t expect “5 Hour Energy” sales to drop any time soon, but maybe this tip can help you spend that $4 elsewhere.
One last thing is the potential issues of turning your home office (if you’re lucky enough to work from home) into a possible standing work area. Consider using double monitors, adjustable height desks, or even some variation of a kneeler. I’m not sure how much of this is feasible for most people, personally I’m in the office for my forty hours, but if you can accomplish some of this then all the more power to you.