Every working American knows the reality of long hours and days that seem to melt into weeks. That’s just how busy people have become. There are those who say work is easier and the hours are shorter, thanks to technology. If that’s the case for you, well and good, but for most people technology has the opposite effect, as they can be reached anytime.
Working overtime is not a welcome part of your or your team’s day, but sometimes it is necessary to beat deadlines, particularly if a client is waiting for results. How do you keep yourself and your team focused and productive well into the night? Here are some suggestions.
Most working people turn to coffee to keep them up when they have to work overtime, but too much caffeine is not good for your body. There is also that caffeine crush, which you may try to combat by consuming even more caffeine. When you feel the urge to reach for the cup, try munching on slices of apple instead. Fruits like apples can keep you energized and awake, and they’re healthier than coffee.
When you start nodding off in front of your screen, get up, shake your hands and arms, wiggle your toes, and walk around. The activity can raise your heart rate and get the blood flowing again, waking you up. Go and have a drink of water and check on your team. The interaction also helps both you and your team stay awake.
Get some food in you
Sleepy and hungry – not a good combination. Don’t skip dinner and get a snack if you have to. You need to burn something to keep going. Look for a place that delivers pizza, open 24 hours, and share a box or two with your team. Don’t stuff yourself, though, as that is a sure way to feel even lazier.
Focus on one task at a time
Multi-tasking is not effective; as a matter of fact, it might take you longer to finish your tasks because your focus is always divided. Instead of multi-tasking, create a list of your tasks and do them one by one, according to priority. You’ll breeze through your tasks faster by doing this.
Getting up and talking to your team keeps you awake, but tapping on the Facebook app on your phone will distract you, maybe for hours. Keep your phone on silent, screen-down on the table, and focus on what you’re doing.
The better alternative is to manage your time properly, so you don’t have to work late. For those days when this isn’t possible, follow the tips on this post to keep yourself and your team awake and focused longer.