We tend to work ourselves to the ground and even have a sense of accomplishment when we’ve pulled an all-nighter but does that really get us further ahead of where we want to go? Maybe we think it does but our internal cycle gets warped. After a while of constant all-nighters and hectic days our bodies begin to take over our lack of empathy toward it which is when we begin to yawn uncontrollably, eyes shutting while driving, headaches, burn outs, irritable about everything and everyone, you get the idea.
Burn outs and breakdowns is our body’s way of saying “enough”, it’s time for some R&R. This miracle of a machine that we can call “our body” requires maintenance and tune ups, without them, there will be costly trips to the body shop.
I understand having to power through when there’s a deadline near but isn’t that the whole idea of a deadline, having a set date and time when something will need to be delivered? By realizing that a deadline is near and knowing how we normally run around at the last minute, we can prepare ourselves for the craziness that comes with meeting and even exceeding this set timeline.
I know, I know, having to prepare for being prepared seems daunting but it really doesn’t have to be. Take 10 minutes to go for a walk and recoup, get out of the house – yes, I’m talking to the freelancers out there, even run some errands if need be, just get yourself some fresh air and new scenery.
Notice how you tend to get when under a tight deadline, are you irritable? How about controlling? Short tempered with everything and everyone? Prepare yourself for these behaviours and notice that you might be running on low fuel and may need something in your stomach, something that can keep you satisfied without the high’s and low’s of your blood sugar.
Make a list of the things that you are waiting for others to complete and follow up with them in advance. If there’s a need for an all-nighter, bring nourishing reinforcements – water, dinner split into 2 portions so you can have the second portion past midnight when you’ll be getting hungry again and reaching for the vending machine, some upbeat tunes to get you through the night and tea or coffee but try to be mindful of the amount of caffeine your downing.
In the end, schedule some R&R the next day. If you are unable to get away during a hectic time, schedule it for the near future. You will have something to look forward to and really get yourself through the chaos (if any) but really make an effort of taking this time off. If it’s only a day you can take, do it. It’s important to get your body back into it’s regular rhythm so you can be supported and carried through for whatever lies ahead.
Remember, your body is your own personal vehicle – take care of it and pay attention to it’s motor.
When was the last time you pulled an all-nighter? Did you schedule some recoup time afterward, what was it?projects work