Coffee is not always the answer

09/03/2020

Coffee is not always the answer

Pulling an all-nighter to meet a deadline? Don’t worry, take a deep breath and follow these tips to stay sharp and get the work done.

You can barely keep your eyes open, yet you need to meet that critical deadline. You had no idea it was going to take this long, be this difficult or that so many things were going to go wrong. It doesn’t matter, though, because sometimes you just need to push through. You can blame it on poor planning, ridiculous demands or both. Whatever the reason is, it’s irrelevant now because no excuse in the world is going to change things. You need to do the work now!

If you’re running on no sleep, try these seven tips to stay awake, focused and on task.          

A shot of caffeine

Coffee is not always the answer, but if you’re feeling sluggish at work, a shot of caffeine might be the energy boost you need to get your job done.

Caffeine is a stimulant, meaning it increases activity in the brain and nervous system. It can improve your thinking ability and mental performance, and help you fight off sleepiness. Head over to the break room for a coffee, or take a short walk to a local cafe.

Avoid distractions

You know what they are. Time and energy drainers. Those 10+ social media accounts. Notifications from everyone doing everything, all the time. It’s impossible to focus with such a stream of disruptions. And how are you to stay productive when you get interrupted every couple of minutes?

It is not just that you are distracted and interrupted. It is also that you need some time to recover and get back to the task you were on. But there’s more to this issue. Distractions make you waste precious energy. Distractions are most costly when you are tired. They don’t allow us to stay productive. Worse even, they don’t even allow us to rest properly. Hence, disband all distractions.

Put your phone away, or turn it off all together. Close or block all apps that might distract you. Once you’ve cleared your space, you can finally focus. Sure, you could also deactivate email and other work-related notifications.

Get up from your desk

Sitting in one spot for too long can worsen daytime sleepiness. Periodically rising from your workstation and walking around gets your blood flowing. It can also help you stay to awake and concentrate on your work.

Granted, you probably can’t be away from your desk for too long. You may have to get creative and move at your desk. Maybe fidget or shake your leg while sitting in your chair. If you have your own office, pace the room while talking on the phone.

Take a short nap

Napping may sound counterintuitive, but, naps work. Even 25 minutes of sleep will give you more energy than a cup of coffee and loud tunes. Set the alarm to very loud and go lie down for 20 to 25 minutes. You’ll be groggy when you wake up, and you may feel the urge to suck your thumb, but start pushing forward. After a few minutes you’ll be cranking away again, and even feeling pretty refreshed.

Learning how to manage daytime sleepiness can keep you on your employer’s good side. When drowsiness hits, try a few of these hacks to get through the day.