On those mornings when you are tired the second you open your eyes, you dread going into the office and wonder how you’re going to possibly concentrate all day long. You reach for too many coffees that just leave you feeling irritated, anxious and nervous, and you try to find comfort in junk food that just leaves you even hungrier. But you don’t have to be in a bad mood at work just because you didn’t get enough sleep last night or you’ve been working extra hard lately in order to meet a deadline. Check out this how to guide and embrace your exhaustion at the office. You can even make it a positive thing.
1. Accept you're tired and move on
There’s no point spending all day moaning and groaning at your office computer, just waiting for 5 p.m. to roll around so you can head home. Instead, understand that you’re going to feel fatigued today, and focus on getting as much work done as you can anyway. Thinking negatively just makes you feel awful, so try to stay as positive as you can.
2. Indulge your creative side
Research has shown that when we’re exhausted, we’re more creative. Make today the day you really kill it at work and think of some new ideas to present to your manager. You will be so glad that you didn’t sleep enough when your boss is so thrilled and impressed with you. Maybe you can even snag a promotion with enough days spent brainstorming after a sleepless night.
3. Working will actually wake you up
Think about how you feel when you’re home sick and watch hours upon hours of television. Even more tired, right? And that’s not restricted to coming down with a bad cold. When we’re tired and watch TV or read and lounge around, we feel even more tired. But if you focus on getting some work done, you will actually wake up in the process, because you’re thinking, using your brain, and being productive. When you think about it that way, you won’t even mind that you need an extra Starbucks latte to get through the day (and have said goodbye to an extra five dollars in the process, too).
4. Eat more rather than less
It’s no secret that when we’re tired, we have a much harder time saying no to our sugar and junk food cravings. So why not give in for once? You’re going to enjoy it much more than when you’re feeling 100 percent because you really want that extra pick-me up today. Go ahead and eat that cupcake that you never let yourself buy. It’s okay. And know that you’re going to feel hungrier, too, thanks to your lack of sleep. But be careful and don’t give in too much because your chances of gaining lots of weight go up when you let yourself eat poorly after not enough sleep. So other than your one treat, try to fill up on healthy and filling foods like avocado, beans, nuts, and fruit.
5. Allow for small breaks to energize you
Legally, everyone gets a lunch break and one or two coffee breaks every day. Instead of taking a long lunch break, eat your sandwich or salad at your desk and take small breaks every other hour instead. You can quickly walk around the office and say hi to a co-worker to get a bit of movement in, or even catch up on your Twitter feed. Your small breaks will energize you and give you a bit of a reprieve from your hard work.
6. Expect to get one hour less of work done
It’s impossible to be super productive the entire work day even when we feel our best, so don’t expect it today when you’re not operating at your full potential. Make sure you still finish what is pressing and needs to get done by 5 p.m. today but realize that by 4 p.m. you might be down for the count. Make sure you’re super careful about answering important emails at this time so you don’t make any mistakes, because we all know how easy it is to get someone’s name wrong (or even get our own names wrong) when we’re fading. Use the final hour of work to tidy up your desk and get organized.
7. Make a game plan for tomorrow
Tomorrow’s another day, right? And hopefully you will get a better night’s sleep tonight so you can get back to normal come tomorrow morning. Make sure that if you’re put anything off today because you didn’t feel mentally alert enough to handle it that you make time for it in your schedule tomorrow.
8. Make super detailed lists all day long
We always think we should write something down, then we forget to actually write it down... which just makes us forget to do the thing in the first place. It’s especially smart to write things down today when you’re not completely awake. You will be even more productive and successful at work from now on if you do this, because it’s an amazing habit to adopt. And who doesn’t want to always know what’s going on and be on top of every happening in the office?
Never put in half your usual effort at work just because you’re tired. Instead, check out this how to guide on using your exhaustion and sleepless night to your advantage, so you can still handle everything at work. Just make sure to actually get some shut-eye tonight, so you can wake up tomorrow and be your old self again.