Burning The Midnight Oil? Tips On Handling Long Nights At The Office

First and foremost. Staying hydrated is the most important thing when working long hours. You will feel drastically better if you take sips of water every so often. This will keep you from feeling bloated and full, help you avoid running to the bathroom every 15 minutes, and you won’t feel as light-headed. Staying hydrated means staying focused.

Take breaks. Every so often, get up and walk around. Get some fresh air or a cup of coffee. Chat with a friend for a minute. Take a bathroom break. Even just looking away from your work for a minute (especially if you work on a computer screen) will help you feel less drained. Any small break that is acceptable for your office will do, so long as you are moving. Adjust your posture to avoid feeling stiff and tiring yourself out further for no reason.

Conserve your energy. Do not over-exert yourself if you know you have a long night ahead of you. Pace yourself with your work so you will not burn out. It is better to be a steady worker than to work in one big spurt and then lose your momentum.

Know when to stop. At a certain point you will no longer be productive. You will get tired. You will lose focus. As the night goes on, you will become slower and less accurate. Even if you are not finished with your work, sometimes it’s best just to call it a day and tackle in the morning when you’re feeling fresher.

29 thoughts on “Burning The Midnight Oil? Tips On Handling Long Nights At The Office”

  1. I keep three bottles of water at my desk that I finish by the end f the day. I also have small snacks throughout the day – yogurt, almonds, fruit, etc. Gotta keep your body fueled!

  2. The worst mistake you could make is reaching for coffee after coffee or one of those high sugar, high caffeine energy drinks. Overdosing on caffeine will only run you down and harm your health.

  3. I make a point of going outside for a walk when the weather is nice. It is a great way to get some energy and the fresh air and sunshine truly perk me up more than anything else.

  4. I am always an advocate for getting up and walking around every so often. Its not good to constantly be sitting.
    Getting those adjustable desks that allow you to stand and work is nice also.

  5. I hate long days. Thank you for these tips, my next late-night-shift will certainly be more manageable.

  6. This is one of those times where “slow and steady” really does win the race. Pacing yourself is so important. Both physically and mentally.

  7. I always practice the 20-20-20 rule: every 20min you look at the screen, look at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It really helps!

  8. It is important to take breaks, use sick days when sick and take care of yourself or you won’t be giving 100%. It is about balance.

  9. Agree with Davina. I used to be a big caffeine drinker and found myself unable to sleep and getting sick a lot.

  10. I drink water throughout the day, snack on healthy food and take a walk at lunch. It keeps my energy up.

  11. I used to be the person who skipped breaks, at lunch at my desk, came in super early and left late. I was able to keep it up for awhile, then I found myself getting sick all the time. Your body can only handle that pace for so long. It is a sprint, not a marathon. Take care of yourself for a lasting career.

  12. Take care of your body folks! Especially while you are still young. Health should always come first.

  13. Taking breaks is a great tip, but it depends what you do on them too. Do you take a break and stare at another screen (your phone) checking e-mails or do you go to smoke or do you go pick up some unhealthy fast food? Use your time wisely and positively for your own health. Going for a walk and listening to music is my go-to. I like to tune out from any sort of screen whether it be computer, tablet or phone and get my mind and eyes off work. I also make a point of not taking work home with me. Keep personal and professional separate!

  14. I recently stopped drinking coffee and shockingly that has given me more energy. I have one cup in the morning with a little milk and no sugar and then I stick to water for the rest of the day. I feel healthy and hydrated, rather than jittery. I also sleep much better at night.

  15. I am definitely a person who does too much. I over-exert myself at work and at home and eventually find myself run down. It is hard to learn to relax, but it is good for your well-being to take breaks and know when to stop.

  16. Give yourself the right fuel throughout the day. Fruit and veggies over vending machine snacks. Back away from the fast food. Proper nutrition will keep you going.

  17. Agree with a lot of the commenters. Too many of us live for our jobs. It shouldn’t be the only priority.

  18. I finally forced myself to take breaks during the day. I actually feel more productive because my mind gets a chance to recharge.

  19. YES! Hydrate. It is so easy to forget to drink water and without it you get so drained.

  20. I get burnt out and I don’t even have kids. It amazes me how people manage jobs and families when I can barely manage myself!

  21. Pace yourself is a great tip. I tend to work too hard too early and burn out quickly. Much better to set a few time-goals – slow and steady!

  22. I’ve found it helps to not plan a time when I’ll stop. Knowing you’ll be up until 2am is daunting, but if you aim for midnight you can probably push it to 1:00. And then push for 1:30…

  23. When I feel fatigue creeping up, I get up and move and have a glass of water. Sometimes that gives you a little extra energy to keep going.

  24. Make less time for the less important and throw most of your energy at time-sensitive projects. Keep personal time separate from office time and you may be surprised by how much you actually get done.

  25. I completely agree and strongly advocate the emphasis on hydration. Many people do not realize the importance of it, but you need it to be physically and mentally healthy.

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