The heading of this post makes it sound like I’m one of those slackers that constantly shows up to work hungover and tries to find ways of doing the least amount of work possible. Well I work for myself so there’s literally no benefit in not getting my work done and I’m very rarely hungover during the week – I’m usually just tired from staying up too late working the evening before or trying to get Phil from Nightlife to say ‘Carly and Ben from Brunswick have it!’ on the midnight quiz. I’m such party animal.
No matter how saintly we are in our lives at some stage we’re going to get less sleep than we need and we’re going to show up to work feeling like a drunk koala. Most workplaces won’t accept ‘tired’ as a sickness excuse so we only have one option – suffer through. Here are a few things you can do to stop from falling asleep at your desk.
1. Don’t do any important work after 3pm
If you’re tired when you arrive at work, I can guarantee the situation is not going to improve as the day goes by. In fact it’s almost definitely going to get worse. The mistake we all make when we’re tired is to do autopilot stuff like emails. Don’t do this. If you have important work to do, do that first and save your emails for the 3pm slump you’re almost definitely going to have. Emails are (mostly) monkey work, so save them for the part of the day when you’re the most useless.
2. Take star jump breaks every 20 minutes
Get your blood flowing and your endorphins pumping by stopping work every 20 minutes and doing 50 star jumps. Recruit a few of your workmates to do it with you. It sounds totally batshit crazy but it definitely works. I could be actually nodding off and a quick 50 start jumps will get me totally back on track.
3. Do something physical
If you have a job to do that requires you being physical – do that today. It might be transferring some boxes to another building, conducting surveys where you have to walk to lots of other offices or it might even be manning a front desk for a few hours. Try to avoid sitting down as much as possible and get a physical task done.
4. Have a nap
I know not all workplaces are cool with naps (in fact I don’t think any of them are!) but if you can squeeze in a sneaky nap on your lunch break it will totally change the way you work in the afternoon. If you have a car, duck to the car park for a cheeky 20 mins. If you live near a park, lie under a tree and get some shut-eye. And don’t be embarrassed – people who tease nappers are just jealous. They just wish the could nap like you.
5. Take your shoes off
Did you know it’s almost impossible to fall asleep if your feet are cold? This is why it’s recommended that you pop some socks on if you’re having trouble sleeping… which means the opposite should be true if you’re trying to stay awake. Worth a try right? At the very least the novelty of not wearing shoes should amuse you enough to keep you awake for an extra half an hour. Tip: If you have stinky feet, maybe don’t do this one. We want to stay friends with our co-workers yes?