Top 5 Tips for Pulling an All-Nighter
Sometimes we all need to work longer hours than normal. If you have an early morning deadline, there is only one way to push it through, and that is pulling the dreaded all-nighter! This used to happen to me a lot more when I ran my cake business; last minute customers I couldn’t say no to, cake accidents that meant starting from scratch again, or just bad planning and not realising that some things take longer to make or dry than first anticipated.
Now that I am in a slightly more relaxed avenue of work, all-nighters don’t happen quite so often, but when they do, I have a few rules which help them become quite enjoyable:
1. Stay away from the alcohol! Obvious, I know, but if your normal routine is to open a nice bottle of red after the kids go down, then it can be a difficult habit to break. It will make you sleepy and your judgement will be impaired to some degree. Arrange to celebrate your success later instead!
2. Prep some delicious fruit juice drinks, infused waters or even mocktails to see you through to the early hours. Nice and refreshing to uplift your mood, and send some much needed vitamins to your hard working brain.
3. Take breaks. When I used to smoke, break taking came easily. Now it is something I really have to put into place, but that 5 or 10 minute switch off can really help motivate and re-focus you so you don’t mess up.
4. Meditate and exercise. Okay, maybe don’t go on an hour-long meditative break or workout if you’re really cutting it fine, but meditating and exercising regularly in the run up to a long shift will definitely help your focus and stamina when you need it most. And a 5 min meditate or workout as a break (see above) could be very beneficial if you do need to de-stress and find your breath.
5. Allow caffeine to be your friend. If those eyelids are closing on you, use the natural drug at hand. If you need that pick-me-up to push through to the end, then brew a nice coffee or strong tea and let it do its work.
(Bonus tip for after you’ve been the hero of the night!)
6. Be the cat and take nap. If like me, your all-nighter was to finish something and let it dry for a period of time before actually needing to deliver it, you can have a few hours to recuperate. However, if you don’t have that luxury, at least take 10 minutes to allow your brain to adjust to the next day.