The post prandial dip can play havoc with your meeting effectiveness. Here’s some tactics to stop that happening.
I think it’s worth starting the blog by explaining just what the post prandial dip actually is. Basically it’s the afternoon slump. What you eat for lunch is often a factor but the slump can occur regardless. In fact it’s human nature to feel sleepy in the afternoon. We could end the blog here and tell you all to grab a 2 hour nap in the afternoon, but seen as though that’s not always possible and we’re all about better meetings we’ve come up with a few tactics that can help avoid this in your meetings.
What goes up must come down
Food can be a major factor influencing the slump. Scientifically what’s happening when you eat the wrong kind of foods is either too much refined sugar in your system or low blood sugar. As always to maintain a healthy balance you should try to eat a lunch that consist of carbs, protein and fats. 2 mars bars and a protein shake is not the answer, equally a huge meal with loads of carbs might be delicious but it won’t do your afternoon alertness any favours. As always it’s about striking a balance and ensuring you minimise the drop in energy.
Don’t fight an uphill battle
It would be easy to suggest that food is the only factor in the afternoon slump. It isn’t. Science suggests that a drop in energy in the afternoon is also something that’s hardwired into our systems. Our bodies are governed by circadian rhythms which ebb and flow through the day. researchers discovered dips in alertness during the time we are usually asleep, midnight to dawn but also a secondary dip between 1pm and 4pm. the smart advice is to save the heavy thinking meetings for outside of these times. Preferably the morning when people are at there most alert. If you must meet keep plenty of low GI snacks on hand to keep energy levels up, avoid anything with a high refined sugar content and keep meetings short.
Make it easy for your team
A great way to stave off the afternoon slump is to eat healthily, exercise and get good sleep. As an organisation you can help, have plenty of healthy snacks on hand, provide gym memberships as a perk and don’t routinely keep your employees working until late evening. Smart organisations understand that getting the most out of employees isn’t about the length of time sat at desks, it’s about ensuring they are able to perform when it’s needed.
If you really want to shake the tree try a walking meeting or combine meetings with any activity designed to stave off the slump. It’s impractical to suggest you write off the hours between 1-4pm but it is very practical if you understand that certain meetings are likely to be less effective at this time.
Reach for the coffee
We all know coffee and caffeine is great to stave of sleepiness. It’s also a good option to boost energy post lunch. A scientific study showed that coffee staved of tiredness and improved post-lunch attention and concentration compared to a control group. But, be careful too much coffee is bad for you, and not everyone drinks it. Try tea or something else with caffeine. We should caveat this by saying we’re not suggesting you force feed your employees coffee to keep them alert! We think you’re sensible enough to realise this though.
Keep meetings short in the afternoon, plan them effectively.
If you have to meet in the afternoon keep it short. Plan the meeting well in advance, don’t let it meander. This is where a tool like Amazemeet comes in. The right attendees, the right focus and the right outcomes are only achieved by good meeting design and that’s exactly what Amazemeet does. Grab a look for yourself via the link below.