Late nights are always tough. Everyone goes home and you're stuck there, trucking along. But who said success was easy? Here are some tips to help make that night shift a bit more bearable.
1) Take a break before starting
Take a moment to meditate and calm yourself. You're stuck there regardless, might as well do as much as possible and do it right. After all, spending the evening doing subpar work will bite you in the future.
Jon C. - "If starting after the day has ended and everyone has left, I’d replace a break with a 30-45 minute nap."
True. A short nap can really bring you back into focus. Make sure to keep the nap short as longer ones will just make you even more tired as you enter a deeper slumber thus beginning the REM cycle. Thanks Jon!
2) Write down your goals
Jotting down your goals for the night helps set a clear start and end to what you need to do. Many times, without a set goal, our minds wander onto other projects that aren't as important to finish or start a new one outright! Finish the list, finish the night.
3) Set a deadline
Setting a deadline helps keep your time and work in perspective. A deadline gives you a feeling of pressure to focus on the task at hand and finish in time. It also allows focus to finish, you guessed it, your goals for the night.
4) Be sure to eat
Whether you brought your own food or ordered out, be sure to eat! Eating allows your body to produce and expend energy. Many of you would swear by coffee but in reality, coffee and energy drinks only give a temporary boost followed by a huge drop, causing you to be even more exhausted than before. Food, on the other hand, offers a healthier and more consistent source of energy.
5) Create a complementing playlist
Depending on the person, some people prefer silence to work but for those who don't, set up a playlist on Spotify or iTunes (or whichever you use) and set that playlist just for when you work. We suggest classical music but other genres are fine as long as it helps you zone distractions out and zone in on the work you need to do.
Bonus Tip: Some people enjoy listening to podcasts or audiobooks too. Whatever helps you along.
6) Keep hydrated
We're sure you've heard it again and again. Water is important. Your body is made up of it. Yadda yadda yadda. Well everyone says it because it's true. You keeping hydrated with water helps your body function properly. If you need coffee than compliment it with water.
7) Stand up
Taking short breaks by standing up every so often to stretch and walk around. It helps to relax your joints and muscles as well as lets your mind cool down and do a mini reset so that it's not overburdened.
8) Put the phone away
Set your phone to silent or place it some distance away from your workspace. That way, it is still in reach but far enough you won't be tempted to pick it up.
9) Prepare beforehand
Be sure to prep your workspace with all the documents, files, gear that you need including sustenance, flash drives, post-it notes and etc to help you along. That way you aren't scrambling to find the right file or the correct folder.