Your 4 Step Guide To Surviving An All-Nighter
So here we are. It’s 11 pm, the coffee is brewing, and you are making an interesting cocktail of pro plus, red bull, and Lucozade tablets, whilst trying to resist the urge to google “how much caffeine before I die”. The deadline is in 12 hours, you have 4,000 words to write, and you are asking yourself how you’ve ended up back in this situation, whilst simultaneously promising yourself that it will never happen again.
But it will. For some reason, the only thing that motivates you to get started on your assignments is the state of panic somewhere between 5 – 24 hours before it is due in.
You just can’t escape the all-nighter.
Many people have problems properly motivating themselves, and will always find themselves battling the clock right up to their deadlines. As educators, we strongly recommend avoiding an all-nighter if at all possible, as it is very bad for your body and mind, and you are never going to be able to produce your best work.
However, if an all-nighter is the only thing that can save you, then here is a simple guide to help you survive it in one piece.
Remember, this isn’t an excuse to leave everything to the last minute, and so I want you to promise us that you’ll read our blog on motivating yourself ahead of your next deadline.
Good. On with the list!
Step 1 – Set the stage
Location – You need to find the place where you work most productively. The ideal place is going to be well lit, free from distraction, neither too hot nor too cold, and not too comfy. Never work on your bed or on a comfy sofa; it WILL NOT WORK and you will FALL ASLEEP!
Remove all distractions – Turn off your phone. No, don’t put it on silent, turn it off! Better yet give it to a housemate, who can hang on to it for you until tomorrow. Give yourself a chance to focus. If you know that you can’t be trusted to be on the internet without constantly checking Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc. then turn it off! If the internet needs to be on for your work, then using a blacklisting extension for your browser can stop you from accessing certain sites whilst you are working.
Step 2 – The build up
All-nighters are not good for you, and your body will fight against you if you try to stay awake without the proper prep.
Make sure you’re well-rested – Have a good night’s sleep the day before (ideally 7-8 hours), and that you haven’t overdone it on the caffeine during the day. Caffeine comes with a crash, and you don’t want that to happen just as you start working.
Make a plan – If you are writing an essay or cramming for a test, then writing out a plan before you start getting tired can help keep you focused and on track in the wee hours.
Step 3 – Let’s get started
Begin with a nap – Don’t wait until the middle of the night for a quick “power nap”. If you go to sleep when you are already exhausted, then you may not wake up again until the morning. Getting your sleep reserves up early will help you keep going in the long run.
Keep hydrated – I’m sure you already know that drinking water is good for your brain. Drinking a couple of glasses of water every hour will help you stay focused, and make sure that your brain is functioning as well as it can!
Lay off the caffeine – It is generally safe for an adult to drink ~400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day, which is about the same as 4 cups of coffee. Any more than this and you will start to get the coffee jitters, which will just interfere with your work.
Start with 1-2 cups of coffee with some food, and then have another 1-2 cups at the midway point. Drinking it all upfront will just make you crash too early!
Get the right snacks – It can be tempting to have a huge supply of sweets, chocolate, and sugar to keep your energy and spirit up during the night. Remember, a sugar high is very short term and, like with coffee, YOU WILL CRASH. Trying having regular protein snacks during the night. This will keep your energy up, and help you stay focused.
Exercise – I don’t mean going for a midnight run or hitting the 24-hour gym, but a little bit of exercise every 45 minutes or so will get your blood flowing, and wake you up. Try having a short walk or doing 20 push-ups. It’s difficult to stay focused for long periods of time even when you are at your freshest, and so break up the work into manageable chunks!
Step 4 – Recovery (when you are done)
Don’t go to sleep immediately – If you go to sleep as soon as you finish, and then wake up in the evening, you will just throw off your sleep schedule for another night. If possible, try to get by with a short nap during the day, and then get to bed at a reasonable time. Make sure you have a good night’s sleep!
So the assignment is done and it’s been handed in. Thanks God!
Now’s the time to break the cycle of all-nighters and start getting ahead of your work. If you need help managing your studies and working efficiently, then a tutor can do wonders!
Remember, these guys have been through undergrads, postgrads, and PhDs, and have still come back for more. They are the Masters of Studying, and have a lot of tips, tricks, and expertise they can pass on to you.
Give us a call, and we can put you in touch with someone who knows your subject like the back of their hand, and can help you take back control of your work!Get A Tutor
Published on November 27th, 2017 by Rory from The Profs
Any opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone. The Profs does not guarantee the accuracy of any of information on our blog and accepts no responsibility for views of the author.
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