Monday, February 24, 2014

A Working Woman's Guide to Long Days at the Office

So... this week is going to be a long week. I will be putting in some late nights this week as I help in the production of an important proposal at work. So I thought I would share with you my tips for how I survive working long hours.

Plan Ahead. I know you can't always predict when you will find yourself working those hours, but if you can, take advantage of it. I spent last night cleaning my house, getting caught up on laundry, making sure there was food that Joel could eat for dinner in the fridge and I even packed my bags for a trip we are taking this weekend. Knowing these things are already checked off my weekly to-do list, will reduce some of the stress I am going to be feeling.

Sleep. I try to get as much sleep as I can. It is hard to get a decent amount of sleep when you are getting home around midnight and leaving for work the next day around six in the morning. I pretty much come straight home, take a quick shower to relax and get straight into bed. No reading, no watching tv, and definitely no facebook-ing or instagram-ing on my phone. I try to get as much sleep as I possibly can so I am feeling rested and sharp.

Sweatshirts & Jeans. My office requires professional attire during the work day, so when I know I will be working late, I will pack a change of clothes. It isn't that my work clothes are uncomfortable, but there is just something about putting on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt and changing from heels to tennis shoes, that really helps me to refocus.

Music. I typically listen to music throughout my regular work day, but I find when 10:00 pm rolls around and I am still chipping away at my workload, changing up the tunes helps me get energized again! Lately I have been jamming out to a 90s throw back station and I have been loving it. Oh man, I love this song! Okay, I will edit one more page then take a break!

Eating Right. It is really hard to keep up with meal planning and meal prep when you are working 10 to 15 hour days, but that doesn't mean it is junk food all day, everyday. How I eat directly effects how I feel. I can't afford to have a food coma when I am trying to proof read documents at midnight and I can't find myself crashing from a sugar fueled binge of cookies. I try to stock my desk with cans of veggie soup or oatmeal for quick and easy meals. When we order dinner, I try to pick a dish with lean proteins and lots of veggies.

Don't do it, Jess... Don't do it!
Water. I really focus on drinking lots of water when I'm working late. It is tempting to drink a ton of coffee or soda to keep myself feeling alert, but I just don't think the few minutes of clarity it is worth it. If I drink too much coffee, then I won't sleep when I finally get home. If I drink a sugary soda, then I will find myself hitting the wall before I am ready to call it a night. Water is the best solution, stay hydrated my night owls.

Besides, no one wants to be doing this at midnight.
Walk Away. Taking a mental break every now and then, is so important. Sometimes I just walk a lap or two around the office. Sometimes I go chat it up with my co-workers and fellow victims of the late hours. Sometimes I log into Facebook for ten minutes or read some of my favorite bloggers new posts. The mental break helps me to relax and enables me to refresh. Sometimes a step back helps us take a few steps forward.

There you have it. My simple little list of the things that help me get through a sixty or more hour work week.  If you don't hear from me for a while, you can just picture me doing this...

What are some of the things you do to help you get through the long nights at the office?



  1. I did some of the same stuff over the weekend because I knew I wouldn't have time this week... laundry, food prep, etc. And I had the best of intentions to grab some comfy clothes before I left this morning, but sadly I forgot. :-(

  2. Great tips! They are very helpful indeed. Definitely what I needed to hear to get through the week!

  3. You are so organised! I complain about having no time during the week to do anything, but I don't have to work until midnight so I'm going to stop!

  4. ...I can't stop watching the bunny fall over! Precious... Great tips! I can relate with the late nights, coffee and sugar isn't worth the buzz, agreed!!