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How to Pull a Successful All Nighter

How to Pull a Successful All Nighter

Knowing how to pull a successful all nighter is critical for everyone.  From college students, to new employees, to entreprenuers trying to land their first big break, everyone needs to know how to stay up late to get the job done– without crashing and burning.  Because let’s be honest, a bad all nighter is like old milk– something you never want to taste again.

1. Take a nap first.

Put a little gas in your “sleep tank” by getting a few zzz’s before you get to work.  By taking a nap,  you will feel more rested and more ready to power through the night.  Just make sure you set an alarm!

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2.  Eat protein.

Don’t make the rookie mistake of chowing down on carbs before an all nighter.  Carbs will give you a burst of energy, then leave you feeling wiped out.  Instead, eat protein to keep your energy levels stable all night long.

3.  Exercise.

Want a quick shot of go-juice?  Do a little exercise. It doesn’t have to be anything long or drawn out, but even a few jumping jacks can get your blood pumping again.

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4. Caffeine.

This is my favorite.  I load myself up with caffeine before most people even think about getting their first cup of coffee.  If you want to get through a whole night of work, don’t be afraid to find your favorite source.  Some of my friends swear by energy drinks, but I prefer a pot of the black stuff.

5. Stay in a stimulating space.

Have you ever been to a casino?  There’s tons of lights, noise, and people around to keep you alert.  Next time you’re thinking about pulling an all nighter, find a similar place.  The more lights and talking around you, the easier it will be to stay awake.

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6. Get some fresh air.

This is another casino trick.  Casinos pump oxygen into the building to keep people gambling longer.  You simulate this experience by getting a fan of finding somewhere where the air feels fresh.

7. Make sure your project is important

Before you start your all night work session, review the reasons you need to do it.  Make sure you have an important reason: a deadline, a project you’re passionate about, or a limited time to complete your work.  If you’re trying to accomplish a boring project by staying up all night, chances are you’re going to fall asleep before the clock strikes midnight.  However, if you’re pumped about your project and you need to get it done TONIGHT, you’ll have better luck getting the work done.

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8. Get a partner.

The easiest way to make sure you are successful is to find a friend who also needs to pull an all nighter.  Their encouragement will help you power through the tough late night hours.  Just make sure they don’t distract you from what you need to get done.

9. Set some alarms.

If you’re worried about falling asleep before you get your work done, set an alarm– or ten.  An alarm every hour– on the hour –will help you keep you awake and help you keep track of time.

10. Make a to do list.

Working all night can help you get stuff done; however, as your brain power diminishes due to exhaustion, it’s tough to stay on track with what you need to accomplish.  Make a to do list BEFORE you start your all nighter.  This will keep you focused on exactly what needs to get done.  Make  your to do list as detailed as possible so you will lots of stuff to cross off. This will help you stay motivated in the middle of the night.

Featured photo credit: Insomnia/Carlos Martz via flickr.com

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Kelsie Fannon

Kelsie is a journalist and writer who shares about productivity and money tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy

7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy

“Busy” used to be a fair description of the typical schedule. More and more, though, “busy” simply doesn’t cut it.

“Busy” has been replaced with “too busy”, “far too busy”, or “absolutely buried.” It’s true that being productive often means being busy…but it’s only true up to a point.

As you likely know from personal experience, you can become so busy that you reach a tipping point…a point where your life tips over and falls apart because you can no longer withstand the weight of your commitments.

Once you’ve reached that point, it becomes fairly obvious that you’ve over-committed yourself.

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The trick, though, is to recognize the signs of “too busy” before you reach that tipping point. A little self-assessment and some proactive schedule-thinning can prevent you from having that meltdown.

To help you in that self-assessment, here are 7 signs that you’re way too busy:

1. You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Took a Day Off

Occasional periods of rest are not unproductive, they are essential to productivity. Extended periods of non-stop activity result in fatigue, and fatigue results in lower-quality output. As Sydney J. Harris once said,

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

2. Those Closest to You Have Stopped Asking for Your Time

Why? They simply know that you have no time to give them. Your loved ones will be persistent for a long time, but once you reach the point where they’ve stopped asking, you’ve reached a dangerous level of busy.

3. Activities like Eating Are Always Done in Tandem with Other Tasks

If you constantly find yourself using meal times, car rides, etc. as times to catch up on emails, phone calls, or calendar readjustments, it’s time to lighten the load.

It’s one thing to use your time efficiently. It’s a whole different ballgame, though, when you have so little time that you can’t even focus on feeding yourself.

4. You’re Consistently More Tired When You Get up in the Morning Than You Are When You Go to Bed

One of the surest signs of an overloaded schedule is morning fatigue. This is a good indication that you’ve not rested well during the night, which is a good sign that you’ve got way too much on your mind.

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If you’ve got so much to do that you can’t even shut your mind down when you’re laying in bed, you’re too busy.

5. The Most Exercise You Get Is Sprinting from One Commitment to the Next

It’s proven that exercise promotes healthy lives. If you don’t care about that, that’s one thing. If you’d like to exercise, though, but you just don’t have time for it, you’re too busy.

If the closest thing you get to exercise is running from your office to your car because you’re late for your ninth appointment of the day, it’s time to slow down.

Try these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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6. You Dread Getting up in the Morning

If your days are so crammed full that you literally dread even starting them, you’re too busy. A new day should hold at least a small level of refreshment and excitement. Scale back until you find that place again.

7. “Survival Mode” Is Your Only Mode

If you can’t remember what it feels like to be ahead of schedule, or at least “caught up”, you’re too busy.

So, How To Get out of Busyness?

Take a look at these articles to help you get unstuck:

Featured photo credit: Khara Woods via unsplash.com

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