The 2:00PM Slump

As you can see, I’ve been doing some rearranging here. Please don’t get unnerved. I like to putz around with appearances and things.

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Over my years, I have had about three office jobs, which I define as a job working in an office. Two of these were internships. And in each location, I have noticed one Universal Truth of Office Jobs that is named in the title above: the 2:00PM Slump.

The 2:00PM Slump, for those not in the know, is that time in the afternoon when lunch is over and time seems to slow down to look at the beautiful day outside the office windows. Meanwhile, you are stuck inside with a task you could have sworn would have taken less time in the morning. That is the 2:00PM Slump.

I do not know why the 2:00PM Slump exists, but I can speculate. Think back to when you were in school and the day ended at 3:00PM. When 2:00PM came around, you were anxious to get out of there and play on the playground and maybe go to soccer practice. And so you watched the clock tick by that final hour. And when 3:00PM came around, you were free!

This process happened so often during your early development that it is now as natural as breathing. That’s right, I believe that school has taught our bodies to long for that 3:00PM hour because 3:00PM means freedom. 3:00PM means the end of the day. 3:00PM means we don’t have to do anything we don’t want to do anymore (unless our parents make us do it).

I offer a solution to work past this 2:00PM slump until it becomes a 4:00PM slump, which is must easier to manage. First, make a to-do list of everything that should get done by the end of the day. Once that is done, hide any clocks that will distract you from these tasks. Then start going through that list and do not look at a clock until it is finished. Whatever time it is, revel in the fact that you have overcame the slump.

Other things to do include:

  • return phone calls
  • update LinkedIn
  • plan/attend a meeting
  • distract someone else with idle chit-chat
  • distract yourself with the internet

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Discussion Question: Do you suffer from the 2:00PM Slump? How do you get through it?

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