The modern worker is no stranger to working after hours. While your job offer did not explicitly say that you would be working a few hours after 5 pm, you might be needed to work extra hours because of deadlines and changes in schedule. In fact, it’s even a norm now. Not a lot of people can escape from this trend. And if you were asked to work extra hours, then you might as well enjoy it right?
Picture this. It’s finally time to go home, but then your boss calls you about a project that you need to finish ASAP. It’s a bummer, however, it’s a situation that we are powerless to stop. Working overtime doesn’t mean working uncomfortably though. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your late night a bit more pleasant.
Go Home if You Can
If you’re able to bring your documents or project files home, then, by all means, do it. A lot of work doesn’t mean that you will have to stay and do it all at once inside the office. A change of scenery and of ambiance will dramatically boost your productivity. Staying in the same place for a long period of time will bore you and it will eventually wear you down.
Your work will feel less of a burden as you find yourself in the comfort of your own home. Relax and leave your professional persona without having to worry about anyone looking over your shoulder, have some dinner or snacks, dress up comfortably and finish up what you need to do.
If your office comes equipped with lockers or if you have your own permanent workstation, then it would be a good idea to change into a set of comfortable clothes. It’s extremely useful for times that you need to burn that midnight oil.
Being in the office after hours means that there are fewer people to see what you’re doing. This also means that there are no supervisors to tell you what to do. It’s time to loosen your tie and make yourself at home. You can even take off your shoes and put your feet on the desk.
Take a Break and Eat Something
Can’t leave the office and go back home for a good meal? Give yourself a break and look for ways to eat out or eat in (whatever you prefer). There’s no use in working on an empty stomach. See if you can get food delivered to your building, or if there is anything in the office pantry that you can munch on.
Feeling a little drowsy? Go get a cup of coffee to improve your condition.
If dinner is out of the picture, remember that you can snack on other things until you get home. Get some nuts, or some candy, to help wake you up and keep your focus.
Know Your Limits
Working after hours is challenging as it is, but if you feel like you won’t be able to do anything productive, then learn to stop and call it a day.
If you’re tired and worn out, then stop. You’re just putting your work to waste. You’ll probably be called out on it and you’ll have to do your work all over again. If staying up late is not your forte, why not just call it a day? Wake up earlier the next day and finish everything you haven’t. Your work will produce better results this way.
Start With the Most Urgent and Most Challenging Things
After getting your game face on, organize and execute your tasks based on priority and difficulty. Confirm which ones you will need to present tomorrow morning and which ones you need to do right away.
The next thing that you have to do is to start on the tasks that require your full brainpower to execute. You may not be able to finish the whole task tonight, but having a head start will help you finish things easier. A solid foundation is a key to finishing any task without difficulty.
Plan Before You Get Started
Starting without a plan is like going on a trip without a map or a navigation app. failing to plan is planning to fail you know.
You’ll soon find yourself getting lost in a sea of things to do. Make a list of things that you need to do before setting out to finish them.
You may discover things that you won’t be able to do without a co-worker’s cooperation. Before business hours end, remember to make a list of things you need from other people so that you can do your work effectively. This will ensure a smooth sailing operation for both you and your colleague.
Set Yourself Up for the Next Day
Tonight isn’t the only night you’ll be working in the office. Remember that you need to come back the next day to start on your other tasks (or tasks that you didn’t finish tonight). Make a list of everything you need to have.
If you did your extra work at home, then spend time preparing for the things that you the next day.
All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy. Are you finally done with your tasks? Are you ready to go home? Awesome!
Your efforts to finish the task deserve a reward. No matter how small the reward, you’ll still get a good confidence boost. Take some time to treat yourself.
Let your mind and body unwind with a good bath, indulge in a snack, or if you feel too tired to do anything, then go to sleep. Sleep is the best reward that you can give your body.
Working late to accomplish tasks isn’t an easy or fun thing to do, but it’ll be a little bit more bearable if you know how to handle it effectively. Hopefully, late night jobs don’t happen to you frequently. Remember to take care of yourself and recognize when enough is enough.
You can do it!