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Dog day afternoon?

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September 3, 2010

Does your energy wane in the late afternoon? Do you make a mad dash for coffee just to get an instant energy fix so you don’t nap at your desk? You’re not alone. According to a new Accountemps survey, the time period between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. is the least productive time of day for employees.

Thirty-seven percent named that period in the day when the hit a wall. Twenty eight percent of senior managers said their employees start nodding off between 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. This is based on responses from more than 1,000 managers at companies with 20 or more employees.

Accountemps offers five tips to help employees avoid the slump:

1.    Plan ahead – Don’t push challenging projects off until the end of the day, when your energy may wane. Use your less-energetic periods to catch up on more routine tasks, such as responding to e-mails and reading industry publications. (Um, wait a minute …)
2.    Get out and smell the roses – If you feel your energy beginning to dip, stretch or take a short walk to recharge. Try eating your meals or holding afternoon meetings outside.
3.    Eat well. Remember to make time for lunch and snacks throughout the day. Avoid high-carb foods which tend to cause you to crash later.
4.    Track goals – Keep a to-do list to remain focused and ensure it’s visible on your desk so you can check items off as they are completed.
5.    Switch gears – If you’re struggling to focus, take a quick break and research something new.

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