The 5:30 a.m. alarm came way too fast. Next thing you know you're fighting against nodding off at the office while your eyes begin to glaze over staring at the computer screen. It's summer time and gorgeous outside, so of course you're going to take advantage of the time you have outside of your full-time job at the office. But every morning you ask yourself why in the world did you stay up so late. My struggle this summer has been trying to stay awake at work since I get barely any sleep after beautiful summer nights. Here are 10 ways ways to stay awake in the office.
1. Drink caffeine.
Nothing wakes me up more than a cup of coffee in the morning. I am lucky enough that my employer has digital coffee machines at work. Not only do I have the opportunity of free coffee every morning, but I have many different coffee bean pouches to choose from to insert into the machines. Coffee isn't always everyone's forte however. Many of my coworkers are very reliant on the soda machines in the break room for a good caffeine kick. We may get a bit shaky, but at least we're all awake.
2. Make your work a game.
Especially if you work at an office where you are strictly on the computer all day long, it can become boring fast and make you want to nod off that much faster. It is helpful to stay awake if you begin to pay attention to particular details or make a game of what you're doing. For example, I work at a debt collections agency over the summer and my college's Telefund during the school year. In these situations I am given many different accounts. I choose to pay attention to their names and decide whether I like them or would name my child any of them. The most ridiculous name I've run across is Bunny.
3. Sit up straight.
Posture is huge. Realistically, the more uncomfortable you are, the more you will stay awake. If you decide to slouch in your chair, wrap up into a blanket and sit at an angle, you're in the perfect napping position. The key is to sit up straight and at the end of your chair to stay alert, awake and not too cozy. It is hard to resist wrapping myself up in a blanket at the office since the air conditioning is freezing, but then it feels like I am back in bed.
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4. Nibble slowly on snacks.
By keeping your hands, mouth and body moving, hopefully you'll stay more awake! Eating food is always tasty and keeps me awake. An extra chocolate sugar rush helps. Eating slowly makes the food last longer, more consistent movements and then I'm not eating handfuls after handfuls of M&Ms.
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5. Walk around.
Best way to get the blood flowing and change up the pace is to walk around. Go stop at the break room, swing by your friend's desk, fill up your water bottle, grab something from your car, whatever it takes to get you out of your seat. The most classic excuse to get up is to go to the bathroom, whether or not you truly need to use the bathroom.
6. Make conversation.
The best way to stay awake is testing how much you can focus in a conversation and reciprocate in an appropriate dialogue. My employer has the option of Instant Messaging, which works to keep up a conversation work or non-work related. However, this may be more impersonal but talking face-to-face with a coworker is more stimulating. Asking someone about their weekend, evening or work duties may spur up a conversation and help keep you both awake.
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7. Write goals.
At the beginning of the work day, when I am most tired, I try to make goals for myself for the day. I write down the different tasks I am assigned and draw little check mark boxes to check off as I go. This gives my brain time to think of everything I need to get done and motivation to move along faster to reach it all. Although this may be a bore, it helps it realizing that you don't have time to procrastinate.
8. Pop in ear buds.
Turn up some "Work At Home" by Fifth Harmony on your iPod and jam out as you type away on the computer. Play any music that will get you dancing, lip syncing or nodding along to stay awake. Just like the tip to stay awake while driving at night, music helps wake you up and stimulates your hearing senses. Make sure that you don't play any slow or lulling music to create the opposite effect!
9. Go outside on breaks.
Getting up and out of the office breaks up the day. A perfect way to spend even a short break is walking around your building, checking your phone at a picnic table or standing outside just to be outside. The dark office building can get old after a while! Another way to get out is to grab fast food on your lunch break. This provides you with a way to leave the building, drive and have tastier food than last night's leftovers!
10. Dress for success.
Nothing says I am ready to work more than a pair of shiny high heels. When you look good, you feel good. Put on a dress, some heels and strut your stuff! Not only will you feel amazing, but it will also reflect in your work. On the other hand, if you dress in comfy clothes like jeggings, a relaxed t-shirt and sandals, you'll feel sluggish and work slow.
We all want a life outside of work, especially in the middle of summer. Instead of getting a good night's sleep by going to bed earlier, doesn't it sound more fun to go out fishing with your boyfriend, attend a summer festival, go tubing on the lake or play tennis with your friends? I agree! Here are 10 ways that will help your morning in the office after a fun night in the summer sun.