Howdy Lifehackerinos, I’ve got some serious overtime to do as my workplace’s project deadline crunch approaches. 65 hours will be the base hours for a work week, and given that the long days and weeks will last a solid couple of months, have you got any tips to avoid fatigue and stay productive? Dealing with equally burnt-out colleagues? Maintaining healthy relationships at home? Thanks, Tired Just Thinking About It
Hungry girl picture from Shutterstock
Ouch! Obviously in a perfect world projects wouldn’t suddenly demand such large amounts of time, but reality can be a cruel mistress. Here are some simple ideas to consider to cope with that workload:
- Even though you’re going to be working extra hours, you should try and work set hours as much as possible. The fact you’re talking about a 65-hour base week suggests you’re already thinking that way, but it’s worth reinforcing: having a fixed work day makes the prospect of a long day easier to cope with than having literally no end in sight.
- Even if you’re banging against a deadline, set aside at least one day a week where you’re not working. If you work non-stop for weeks on end, your productivity will suffer badly. This will also be your only chance to spend time with family and friends, which are relationships you’ll want to maintain long after this deadline.
- Make sure you have clearly articulated goals each day. You may want to consider using the Pomodoro technique to maximise productivity.
- Ensure you eat healthily. As deadlines loom, it’s very easy to fall into a coffee/pizza/cola habit. Realistically, you might not feel like planning ahead and bringing meals to the office, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get better-quality takeout. And even when the deadline is tight, take time to actually stop and eat, rather than wolfing down food as you work. Not eating enough will make you tired and cranky and unproductive.
- Check out our previous posts on how to avoid burnout and how too much work can sap your creativity
If readers have their own tried-and-tested strategies for dealing with insane hours, share them in the comments.
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