There’s a specific anxiety that strikes when the realisation dawns that you are getting no sleep. You’ve watched the clock go past two, then three, now four o’clock and there’s some invisible force stopping you from dropping off – “why does this always happen to me?”.
You’re worried that you won’t be able to work the next day because you can’t sleep, and that’s stopping you from sleeping. It happens to all of us a few times a year and the days following absolutely suck.
But here are five things you can do after a night with little to no sleep to stay productive.
1. Don’t be a shut-away
Speaking to anyone forces your brain to whirr back on. Holding a conversation requires a lot more brain power than you realise. The process of taking in words, processing them and constructing a response heightens your focus.
Use the momentum when you usher away whoever is hovering around your desk to actually do some work.
2. “I love the smell of coffee in the morning”
The worst thing you can do is over-do the coffee dosage and crash. If you surround yourself with the smell of coffee, your brain will still be stimulated and give you that sweet endorphin boost.
3. Give your throat an ice-shower
Substituting two cups of coffee for two glasses of cold water yields to same energy boost. Water is actually the fuel that keeps your body going – not coffee or pictures of cats in people clothes. Give your body what it needs because sleep deprivation is awful and you need any help you can get.
4. Work on a ‘Little and lots’ basis
The positive feedback that comes with the completion of tasks is what keeps you going throughout the day, sleep deprived or otherwise. If you need some motivation, break your work day into tiny, little tasks. That way you’re constantly riding a wave of positive feedback.
5. If you lie down, it’s game over
Think of your body as a broken IPhone. Once you turn horizontal, it’s almost impossible to get you facing the right way again. Your body is clawing for any opportunity to rest so trying to work in bed and slouching in your chair is giving it what it wants. For the sake of productivity, fight your body’s impulses.