Tired  and exhausted young woman sleeping on printer in the office.

How to battle through L.A.L. (Late Afternoon Lethargy)

It’s mid-afternoon. You no longer have lunch to look forward to and the end of the day seems very far away. The clock is ticking very slowly, perhaps too slowly. Has your watch stopped? No. Maybe you should get another cup of tea. Didn’t you have a bag of crisps somewhere? What’s for dinner? Maybe you should look for some recipes online. Before that you might as well have a quick look on Facebook…

Sound familiar?

Late Afternoon Lethargy (L.A.L.) is a problem thousands of office workers suffer with every day. The symptoms are generally described as low levels of energy and motivation, intense cravings, fidgetiness and a strong compulsion to go home. It usually occurs around 3pm. Most sufferers self-medicate with caffeine and sugary baked goods but this tends to exacerbate symptoms rather than ease them.

If you’re suffering with a case of L.A.L. we have five methods that are known to help increase productivity until the end of the day. Unfortunately there is no known cure for this debilitating issue, so please share any of your own methods on our Tate LinkedIn page.

Medicinal snacking

Genuine, real life scientists claim that chocolate can benefit your attention span, improve your memory and help with general brain health, but that doesn’t mean you’re now free to munch a Mars bar or half a packet of chocolate digestives to beat the afternoon slump. Researchers believe that you need to find chocolate of at least 60% cocoa and dark chocolate is always best.

Nuts and seeds are also good at giving the body a boost of energy when it needs it most and, unlike chocolate, will not cause any blood sugar fluctuations. Some people avoid nuts because of their high fat content but a little bit of fat is essential for a healthy lifestyle – after all, the brain is made up of around 60% fat.


One of the best ways to get your brain moving is to get your body moving. Have a stretch, walk around the office or do some lunges, it really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you move. Physical movement pumps oxygen-rich blood throughout your body and brain, improving both energy and mental capacity at the same time. This is why you should always leave the office at lunch to take a walk or a jog rather than playing those brightly coloured games on your mobile phone.

Situational modification

Having a routine is a great way to stay organised and on top of your workload, just don’t get stuck in a rut. If you always have cornflakes for breakfast, take the same route to work and have a cup of tea at 10:30am, it might be time to jazz things up a bit. Doing something seemingly inconsequential such as going for lunch somewhere new, going a different way home or having a cappuccino instead of a latte will boost your energy levels and take yourself out of autopilot mode.

Music therapy

Researchers have recently found that musical tasks can really help boost energy levels. Don’t worry, you don’t have to carry a recorder around with you, just listen to a bit of music, tap out a rhythm with your foot or on a keyboard and hum a tune while making a cup of tea. These activities engage with a part of the brain that helps to decrease tiredness.

Cognitive rewards

Have you ever felt a surge of happy energy after someone praised you? Well, you can either ask one of your colleagues to give you a compliment, which might be a little weird, or you can make a list of things you are good at to give yourself a boost of positivity as the day draws to a close. You might feel a little silly at first but you’ll soon feel the rush of confidence you need to nail that report you’ve been staring at for the past hour.

For more advice contact one of our consultants today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *