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The least productive time of the day and how to survive it

Apparently, there’s a general pattern that governs office productivity and if you thought you were alone in considering mid-afternoon a nightmare, you’re in for a surprise. A recent study conducted by Londonoffices.com found out that 2.55 pm is the peak of unproductivity.

Read on to find out what’s so special (and exhausting) about this hour and how to fight against it when you’ve got a million things to do and not a minute to spare.

2.55 – A Common Breaking Point?

Researchers behind the study claim that there are many good reasons behind the ill fame of this hour. At 2.55, workers would have usually finished their lunch and their bodies are now processing that calorie intake by making their brains go numb.

Exposed to multiple threats, such as Facebook, Twitter or notorious cute cat videos, there’s nothing else they can do but enter into a post-lunch lull and let their productivity crumble under the weight of social media buzz.

But that’s not all. CNN’s blogger Jarret Bellini offered another important factor that accounts for the new-found fame of 2.55 as the most unproductive moment of the day: “On top of that, at least in America, 2:55 p.m. is right about the hour when weekday European soccer matches kick off. At CNN we all have TVs at our desks, so when the perfect storm of food and footy collide, you’ll be lucky to get a complete sentence out of me.”

Some experts suggest that when the morning rush is over and lunch long gone, workers tend to look forward and start planning their evenings – booking tickets, making restaurant reservations, planning their grocery shopping, you name it. All in all, 2.55 is something we all face and need to overcome. Here’s how to do it.

How to Keep Going At 2.55 (and Other Hours)

Michael Davies from Londonoffices.com offered some smart advice for all those who struggle through the mid-afternoon productivity crisis – he basically suggested that in order to get more things done, we need to take regular breaks and get into a steady work flow, without peaks or bottoms.

“We all have peaks and troughs when it comes to our levels of productivity, but the trick is to maintain a steady work level rather than swing between extremes,” he says.

While break taking is indeed sound advice – especially if it involves some kind of physical activity – maintaining a steady level of productivity might not bring great results in every industry.

Short periods of intensive work are perfect if we’re facing deadlines, but if you want to maintain a defined process and not get lost in our own thoughts, follow this trick – work intensely for 90 minutes and then take a break – exercise, have a meal or unwind your mind in any other way.

If you adopt the above work routine, you have every right not to feel guilty about watching those cute cat videos – even if you happen to do it precisely at 2.55!


About the Author:

Michelle Clark is an experienced Project Manager at IrelandStats where she meets new people, learns new things and constantly monitors the work of a multinational team.

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