That 3 p.m. Haze

It’s 3 p.m. Your eyes have glazed over from staring at a computer, you’ve talked to a mind-numbing number of people, and—against your will—the afternoon haze has begun to set in. Have no fear, your wake-up call is here!

Who doesn’t struggle with that feeling of “I just need to look at something else for a minute” to reset, or have to get up and walk around to get their blood flowing again after hours of sitting and working on a single project or a rapid-fire set of to-do’s? It happens! Mid-morning until lunch is commonly known to be the most productive part of the day. First thing, after coffee/tea/breakfast/sleep, it’s easy to feel productive! Some of us can’t have coffee past noon, so what can we do when that afternoon lull hits? As a soda and coffee addict—yes, I admit I have a problem—it’s easiest for me to pour yet another cup of coffee or open a Coke when I feel like I’m dragging. But I’m not getting any younger and soda is not great for you and neither is THAT much coffee. Especially after a broken hip and bed rest last year, I had to find ways to get my energy up and re-energize my brain without just turning to caffeine. Here is what I found.


  1. Find a way to work out that works FOR YOU and bring it to the office!

I never had that drive I see in others—to work out whenever there’s downtime or get up at 4:30 a.m. to exercise before work or the summer heat sets in for the day. After my hip injury and physical therapy, I had to find a low-impact cardio-filled workout to get my body back to normal. I was DREADING it. Then I heard about a new fad called barre. Xtend Barre, specifically, is cardio-based and also includes TRX, Pilates stick, large ergonomic fitness balls, and traditional dance. I took it once and was hooked. And the moves are mobile! I take them with me to work, home, waiting in line, etc.

So, when that 3 p.m. haze hits, I get up and MOVE! Yep, I’m “that person” at my desk hitting a lunge back up to parallel passe (toe to knee), but I know I can finish the day strong and productive. That is key. Not only does working out regularly help your mind, body, and soul when you’re in the workout, it helps outside of that hour as well! When you feel good physically, you feel good mentally. Maybe it’s just getting up, going outside, and walking around in the sun for 10 minutes. Maybe it’s doing 20 jumping jacks or burpees. Maybe it’s simply walking across the office to a coworker’s desk to say hello. The point is to physically get up and get your muscles moving, your brain focused on something new, your blood pumping. Sometimes that’s all it takes to come back with a fresh set of eyes to review that Excel file you’ve been plugging away at or rewrite that email that just wasn’t sounding right. Find something you like outside of the office and try to work it into your workday to get those muscles moving!

  1. Water, water everywhere

Most of you are either one of those people who drink a lot of water or you’re like me—trying to convince everyone it’s OK that you’ve had only Redbull, coffee, and Coke to drink that day because water is the first ingredient in all of them. The fact is, our body is mostly water and we need it. As much as I hate it, I feel better when I am drinking more water. Along the same lines as finding something physical that suits you, finding a way to drink more water is important. I tried the gallon jug marked with times I needed to have consumed a certain amount of water. I tried cups of iced water. I tried buying a cute bottle (well, several … I would lose them because I’d set them down and not drink any water and forget them). Finally, about 6 months ago I got a big-kid sippy cup. It’s basically a Big Gulp-size cup with a lid and a straw; for some reason the ease of drinking out of that thing has made me start drinking more water. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve grown attached to my sippy cup and am refilling it multiple times a day! Find your way to get more water into your daily regimen.

  1. Stop and smell the roses

Not literally, but figuratively. When that afternoon haze hits, take a minute to stand up and go talk to a coworker. Go grab someone to take a walk around the block with or get an iced coffee if you absolutely need it (moderation is key, so I let myself have a Starbucks every now and then). As human beings we crave relationships and interactions with others. So—being mindful of others’ workloads—take a minute to walk around and talk to a friend or coworker. It just might make your day and theirs! And spreading positivity in the office and making someone smile can do wonders! You’ll be shocked at how uplifting and rejuvenating making someone else’s day can be.


So, here’s to all my fellow 3 p.m. haze sufferers. May these little tricks bring you some happiness and energy!


Written by Sara Craig, Executive Assistant, at Vector Talent Resources. For more information about how Vector can help you, contact Sara at or 703.639.2160.