How to Get Through a Long Work Week
Working insane hours? Do you eat, sleep, and dream your job—sometimes even while you’re still at work? If so, we’ve got 6 tips for how to work long hours at the office and not end up in the mad house.
Let’s face it—in 2018, the dream of the 40-hour work week is gone. Sure, you get paid for 40 hours, but then there’s the daily commute (2 hours), over time, being available to answer texts and emails, etc. Tally it up, and it’s basically like work 1,812 hours per week (how is that even mathematically possible?).
If you can avoid it, by all means, do. But if you’re a serious go-getter looking to be the next Don Draper or Martha Stewart, or if you just want to get to that promotion as fast as possible, use these 6 tips for getting through a long work week to stay productive, alert, and, most importantly, in the realm of the sane.
How do long work hours affect our health?
Before we delve into the how, let’s cover the why you should optimize your health during hectic work weeks. Warning: this won’t be pretty.
- According to an Australian study, workers who spent 49-59 hours at work had a 48% increased probability of mental decline, with that skyrocketing higher for 60+ hours in the office.
- Employees, especially women, have higher probabilities of depression with increased working hours.
- Long work hours are associated with increased stress, hypertension, unhealthy weight gain, and…
OK, let’s cut this short before it gets ugly. You get the point. Long hours at work have negative effects on your physical, mental, and social well-being. Plain and simple.
Here’s how to cope:
1)Avoid Coffee in the Mornings
Are you one of those “don’t talk to me before I’ve had my coffee” people?
Join the club. Problem is that getting all amped up first thing in the morning usually leads to a poorly timed midday crash. If you want to be more productive, save the coffee for later in the day when you need that extra oomph to keep it going.
A major issue is that most people are not productive early in the morning at work regardless of what they drink, so there’s no point in wasting that cup for routine tasks.
Instead, have some fresh juice or just plain water. If you absolutely have to have that hint of Arabica beans, choose decaf (I know, we’re sorry).
2) Sleep…the right way!
But Soda PDF, isn’t this so obvious? I’ll just get through the day and catch up later this week!
No, you won’t.
At least not according to Harvard University. A major sleep study done at the university to end all universities concluded that “catching up on sleep” is a myth. The effects of chronic sleep loss are clear, but it’s the way that most people approach sleeping that negatively affects them so much. You need regular sleep, not periods of sleep deprivation mixed in with two-day crashes. Here are some tips to sleep properly.
- Avoid TV in bed (no Netflix)
- Keep your bed just for sleeping (no eating in bed!)
- Exercise if you have more free time
- Get up at a regular time
- Avoid caffeine later in the afternoon
3) Reward yourself in the evening before sleep
As much as it seems awesome to go home and plop down in bed, it can actually be counterproductive. It’s healthier for you to enjoy yourself a bit and have something else besides sleep and work during the day. Make time for yourself and give your body some rewards.
How about dessert and a book? Maybe some relaxing out on the balcony? It could even just be a glass of wine and a rerun of Friends. This helps fight stress a lot more than you might imagine.
4) Prepare your outfit for the next day
Rushing in the morning only adds to your stress, especially if you’re the kind of perfectionist who can never pick out anything to wear. Set some clothes out the night before, including any accessories you plan to wear. Hey, this actually sounds like a good unwinding activity (see above).
Jewelry, a watch, a tie, whatever—put them out and don’t second guess.
5) Get up Early
Want to hear some of the best advice we’ve ever heard on surviving a long work week (or just life in general)?
“Work should just be a part of your day, not the first thing you do in the morning”
The most productive and successful people don’t wake up and get to work with just a few minutes to spare. They are up two hours before they need to be. Of course, this is easier said than done, especially when working like a pack mule. Still, if you need to be at work at 9, try getting up at 6 (aka hitting snooze til 6:20) and getting out of the house by 7 (all of your clothes are prepared, right?). Take a slow drive to work, beat the traffic, and just chillax at a cafe (just get juice. No coffee, remember?). You could even get to the office early and get a head start.
6) Make plans for the weekend with friends
Just talking to friends, in general, helps you get through a stressful week (pour your problems on them!), but making exciting plans for the weekend gives you something to look forward to. Water never tastes as good as when you’re thirsty! We mean that the harder you work, the more rewarding fun activities will feel.
When you get to the most stressful points of the week, just remember that you’ve got something exciting coming up in a few days.
Getting through a long work week is hard, but it doesn’t have to be that hard. We’re all in this together. Use these helpful tips and you’ll come out the other end in one piece. Take it one day at a time!
Pro-tip for surviving a long work week: Get yourself some reliable, easy-to-use PDF software that helps you get your work done, without driving you crazy! Download Soda PDF now.